CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Katana Ackerman and her two daughters Kendall and Britney aren't the only one's excited for CCU's game against South Carolina State. In fact, thousands are flooding into the area from all around to see the game.
"The first game is probably one of the biggest and this year's a little different because we went to the playoffs last year," said Ackerman, from her family tailgate spot.
Those high expectations mean high amounts of visitors will be on the Grand Strand all weekend. Along with the game, this weekend is 'Family Weekend' for the university, meaning families will be spending their time and money on the Grand Strand.
"It's been crazy," said Chelsea Rolinec, a bartender at Tongy's Schmack House. "We've had a lot of families from family weekend coming in."
Just across the road from CCU, Tongy's is benefiting from all the families visiting the area.
"We have a good reputation around here, so I know students tell their families about it and they bring them here because of the great food, you know it's just a good atmosphere," Rolinec said.
This busy weekend, both on and off campus, will likely keep up the recent trend of more visitors at the beginning of this shoulder season.
In a recent tourism economy study by CCU, Labor Day weekend lodging was up from last year. What's even more promising, the week before Labor Day saw an increase of more than 12 percent compared to last year.
While there are no guarantees, businesses on and off campus are hoping the shoulder season looks a little more like the last few weeks.