Tourism officials met with local business owners Tuesday to begin preparing for the NCAA March Madness Tournament in March. The tournament is expected to draw thousands of visitors from across the country to Western New York.
Officials from Visit Buffalo Niagara held a meeting for restaurant owners, hotel managers and representatives from other attractions in the city. The meeting discussed how the businesses can work together to make the experience enjoyable for so many out-of-town guests.
Ballyhoo Links and Drinks on Michigan and South Park Avenues is just a few blocks from the Key Bank Center, where the tournament games will be played. The owner is expecting a big boost in business come tournament time.
"To have that be brought to Buffalo and to have it be welcomed in Buffalo, it's little people like my husband and I in our tiny little spot that see the benefits of making the city a bigger and broader space for more people to come into and enjoy," Ballyhoo owner and manager Morgan Stevens said.
Ballyhoo bartender Tony Rials said major events like the tournament make a huge difference for businesses across downtown.
"It's always just a great vibe for downtown Buffalo which is fun to see," he said. "Out of all the places I work, you definitely see a giant influx of people downtown and just kind of a change of attitude which is really fun."