MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Thousands of junior-level volleyball players and their families are packing their bags to head to Myrtle Beach for the weekend. From January 15-18, the Winter Bump Volleyball tournament is back in town.
Business owners who spoke on Wednesday were especially thrilled to learn the event grew and doubled since 2015. Money brought in by sports tourism has become a life-line for many businesses in the off-season.
"They bring people in to town in the weekend," said Ruben Luster, owner of Bagel Factory, which is off 21st Avenue North. "Usually Friday, Saturday, Sunday. That boosts, that gets us through the winter."
Six-thousand people are expected to bump into town, setting up business owners for a serious spike in the wallet. It's a three-day tournament with over 250 teams.
The tournament will take up both the Myrtle Beach Convention Center and the Myrtle Beach Sports Center. Using the combined spaces to host larger events was a goal the city had in mind when building the new indoor sports center.
They're not the only ones who profit. Businesses say they also score with these events, and this weekend's tournament is an ace.
"Last year this weekend was a busy weekend," Luster said. "Still need the tourists, we have the locals. The people that come in every day. Still need the tourists. That tourism is that little bit that gets us going."
With everyone coming in to stay, eat, and shop, the tournament organizers predict the Winter Bump to bring in more than $3 million to the Myrtle Beach economy.