MARSHALL CO., Ala. (WHNT) — Marshall County leaders hope the Bassmaster Classic will bring in future businesses to the county.
The population in Guntersville is just over eight thousand people. This week, crowds numbering a lot more than that are expected to come to the city for what is considered the Superbowl of bass fishing. “Every hotel room is booked. Every restaurant will be packed,” Marshall County Economic Development Council President Matt Arnold says.
Arnold says the tournament will bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars to the county, but that’s not all it has the potential to bring. “These are people seeing Guntersville for the first time,” Arnold says, “Seeing Marshall County, you know, a place none of them have ever been before, and all of a sudden they look around and say ‘you know, this wouldn’t be a bad place to locate a business’.”
Arnold says events and tournaments have brought businesses to the county in the past, so he says with so many people in the area, the council has the opportunity to network on the largest scale the county has seen in years. “The exposure is where our focus is at,” Arnold says, “We hope to be able to talk to some of the businesses and some of the folks that are in here that might find Marshall County a good place to do business.”
County leaders say they have been preparing for the tournament for more than a year.
Downtown Guntersville businesses have been anticipating this tournament for months. Business owners say they’re hoping the tournament will give enough exposure to the area that those visitors coming this week will come back to the city again.
County leaders say hotels in Jackson, Etowah, and Marshall Counties are expected to be full this week.