STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) - Local businesses suffered heavily during the coronavirus, but in Oktibbeha County, many owners are making up some of the losses with not one but two major weekends.
This weekend, Mississippi State University is hosting its fifth straight NCAA Super Regional Tournament bringing people from across the country to a town with many local shops and restaurants that can't be found anywhere else.
Bart Wood is the owner of the nationally-known Little Dooey BBQ in Starkville.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurant struggled, but Wood said events like Regionals and Super Regionals are making a dent in the losses.
“Last week you had that Game Day atmosphere in Starkville at 100% and that’s the first time we’ve had that in a while," explained Wood. "That really made the difference in our sales.”
Wood said he easily had a couple of thousand customers this past weekend during the NCAA Regional Tournament ranging from State fans to fans of the opposing teams looking for local gems.
However, Wood believes these weekends do more than just boost his own business.
“We’re able to take a slow month of June and turn it into a busy month," said Wood. "These two weekends really help out the economic situation in Starkville.”
This will be the city's tenth time hosting Super Regionals.
The Diamond Dawgs will take on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame starting on Saturday.