GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- The countdown to the Bastermaster Classic is in its final stages and Guntersville businesses are ready for the thousands who are expected to come to the city this week.
Sunday, brightly splashed trucks crowd the parking lots lining Lake Guntersville. Pros are already in the water with boats lined up.
What can be considered the Super Bowl of bass fishing will officially kick off in Guntersville on Friday.
The city is ready, too. City and county officials have been anticipating the event for months.
Downtown businesses are going to be directly in the path of the traffic the event will bring. Mary Grace Hammond owns one of those businesses. "We've been preparing for Bassmasters for a year now. We're really excited it's finally here," she said.
Hammond is the owner of a boutique called All About Her. It's just yards away from the lake's edge. "We've been in business for six years," Hammond says.
Six years this month, to be exact. This week will be the one of the biggest for sales since the store opened. "Just the thought of doubling the population of Guntersville and bringing it downtown is amazing," Hammond says.
The store is stocked and packed full of extra merchandise, and this week it will be all hands on deck.
"We're bringing in extra employees, and opening early and having extended business hours," Hammond said.
Hammond is putting in the effort because she says with something as big as the Bassmaster Classic coming to the city, it has the potential to grow her business not only for that week but for the future as well. "I'm really hoping to meet new customers. Hoping they'll fall in love with our town as we have," Hammond says, "I hope they'll bring their families back to Guntersville."
It's that notion that made the long months of preparing for this week worth it. Hammond says it's work the entire city shared. "You know they say you build it, they'll come," Hammond says, "Well, Guntersville is ready."
The city's Chamber of Commerce is looking for volunteers during the tournament. If you are interested you're asked to email your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.