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Businesses impacted by CIF State Finals

Posted at 6:56 PM, Mar 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-04 21:56:45-05

Today Rabobank arena was filled with some of the best high school wrestlers in California.

And 23 ABC found out just how impactful this event is for Bakersfield businesses.

Hundreds of people flooded into town between last night and this morning with the CIF State Wrestling Championships getting underway.

And while the athletes are looking to show they're the best in the state, Bakersfield businesses are doing all they can to capitalize on this crowd.

As assistant director of sales at the Marriott connected to Rabobank and the convention center, Mayra Gomez talked about how big this weekend is for them.

“We're talking about a sellout. We completely sell out our whole hotel,” said Gomez.

And that's just this one location.

Coaches and parents like Harbor High School’s Greg Lopez also told 23 ABC that hotels as far as 20 minutes away were also sold out, leaving many feeling lucky they found a place to stay.

“Well I'm a platinum member at Marriott, actually Platinum Elite and I couldn't even just call them up and book a room. You had to actually phenagle, I had someone who their son didn't make it, in a local school where we live and we worked a deal,” said Lopez.

A deal that means more business for downtown bars and restaurants.

Our outlets such as the restaurant and bar as you can see in the background are constantly busy.

Being across the street, Marco Briseno said their Mexican restaurant, Sol-y-Luna, has already seen a spike in business.

“We opened at seven in the morning. We usually open at 11. But for this event we open at seven in the morning and by the time we were open, there was already a line here ready for hungry customers who were ready to eat,” said Briseno.

With multiple locations in town, Briseno said they were lucky that they could pull staff over to help cover the masses of people.

“So they had to bring half of the staff from the other location to barely have enough employees to make sure all of the customers get good treatment,” said Briseno.

As the thousands of people flood into downtown, some like the Bishop Amat coach, Thomas Pierre, believe this will only help put Bakersfield on the map as a serious sports town.

“We've been coming here for about 15 years and I think it's a great venue, there's a lot of hotels in the area available,” said Pierre.