All-Star Weekend Means Big Bucks for Houston

This weekend's NBA All-Star game festivities mean big bucks for local businesses, with thousands of visitors already enjoying what the city has to offer. Here's more from Houston Public Radio's Jack Williams.

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The game isn't until Sunday, but the parties and special events have already started, packing restaurants, clubs and hotels all over town. Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Jordy Tollett says about 50,000 visitors are expected this weekend.

"I understand from the NBA that Houston has more celebrities and entertainers hosting events and parties in the city than in the history of this NBA All-Star weekend. We believe there will be upwards of 50,000 and economic impact in the range of $70 million."

Downtown Entertainment District co-chair Joe Martin says because of the parties and special events, the NBA All-Star game will be just behind the Super Bowl for volume of business. He says the city has gotten pretty good a hosting big events.

"You start to learn the ropes, not only how to operate and prepare your staff and prepare to serve the customers, but also really really important, you learn how to interact. Everyone we do, it's just another notch in our belt and another opportunity to hopefully make more money than what we would have on the same event last time."

The 55th NBA All-Star game is set to be played at the Toyota Center, with tip-off at 7:30 Sunday evening.

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