Wrestling Fans Arrive To State Tourney Early
by Jill Johnson
February 22, 2013 5:01 PM
For those heading to the State A Wrestling Tournament in Watertown, a winter storm wasn't what they needed. Although the snow may have caused some fans to arrive early, city officials weren't sweating it.
"My son Royce wrestles heavyweight," said Dale Reisner of Yankton.
Reisner says nothing was going to stop him from seeing his son wrestle, not even a little winter storm.
Reisner said, "It's his very first time ever making it to state."
With Yankton expecting snow on Thursday, he and his wife left for the state tournament a few days early.
"We heard it was like twelve inches, winds 20 to 30 miles an hours so we came up on Wednesday afternoon," said Reisner.
Across the gym, is Richard Kirkpatrick.
He and his wife drove from Chamberlain to see watch their son take the mat.
Kirkpatrick said, "We come interstate up through Madison, it was all pretty clean."
However, they weren't about to travel in the snow.
Kirkpatrick said, "Our plans were to come up Wednesday if it would have got bad but we waited until Thursday morning because it really, Chamberlain didn't get hit yet too bad."
Even though the storm isn't ideal for wrestling fans, officials with the city of Watertown aren't complaining.
Watertown Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Karen Witt said, "They're spending money on hotels, restaurants, shopping, all kinds of things."
The city is expected to rake in a total of $400,000 from the state tournament.
But this year, with people leaving early and staying late, the city has the potential to make in even more.
Witt said, "I think the motels are pretty full but of course with the storm coming more people want to stay."
Hoping that their 843 hotel rooms is enough room.
"I'm hoping everyone got a room," said Witt.
Kirkpatrick said, "I hear there's not a whole lot of rooms. I know a lot of people are staying in Brookings. We're actually staying with my daughter."
The State A Tournament began Friday morning and continues through Saturday.