PEORIA - Thousands of fans cheered on their teams this weekend as they battled it out in the Illinois High School Association basketball tournament, but the stadium wasn't the only packed house in town because of the games.
The Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Downtown Peoria was busy too. Sales Director Karen Nash said a lot more visitors walk through their doors during a March Madness weekend.
"Over the course of the weekend we're usually between 500 and 600 rooms," Nash said.
Out of town teams fill the place up, and Nash said it's good for other areas of the hotel too.
"Bennigans does very well over the weekend," she said.
The hotel's Irish/American restaurant is convenient for guests to grab a quick meal before a day of games.
Nash said all of the revenue combined can top upwards of $90,000 for the whole weekend, and she know's her facility isn't the only one bringing in the big bucks.
"They also hit all the other restaurants in town," Nash said.
Places like Kelleher's Irish Pub. Kelleher's General Manager Billy Blasek said staff served more drinks and cashed in more orders than a typical weekend.
"We're seeing lots of new faces. People from all around the state come in, hundreds of people today, hundreds of people tomorrow," Blasek said.
Blasek said two weekends of high school basketball are a slam dunk boost to business.
"March is a good month for us."
Games for the Class 1A and 2A teams end Sunday. Next weekend Peoria will welcome hundreds more as the Class 3A and 4A teams come into town to play for the state championship.
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