Pool tournament helping Waterloo cash in - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Pool tournament helping Waterloo cash in

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- With the closing of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cedar Rapids and renovations beginning soon at the U.S. Cellular Center, a number of events have to change location. This is giving other cities, including Waterloo the chance to cash in.

Two months before it was supposed to take place, the Iowa Operators of Music and Amusements had to change the location of their state the pool tournament. They chose Waterloo because it was a familiar location, which they used several times in the past.

"We've had it here before so it wasn't that hectic. we knew how we were going to lay it out because of the increase in events and number of players playing we added 20 more pool tables and started a day earlier," said tournament organizer, Reggie Horak.

City leaders say the renovations at the Crowne Plaza and U.S. Cellular Center are having an impact on other communities.

"Whether it's another venue in Cedar Rapids or another city like Waterloo, there is going to be some chance for the venue or another city to have some short term benefit and we want to make sure that the customer and the event is helped out," said Aaron Buzza of the Waterloo Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Hotels like the Ramada Inn booked up quickly once the change was made, but they aren't the only ones seeing increased business.

"We've seen a lot of traffic or need for our shuttle going out to the casino. You see a lot of food traffic through the local restaurants like Subway and Doughy Joey's. With the good weather people are out and about enjoying the city," said Ramada General Manager, Dennis Law.

The five day tournament will have a big impact on the local economy.

"You're probably looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of three-quarters of a million dollars to a million dollars coming into the city on a weekend or a better part of a week and it's certainly beneficial this time of year," said Buzza.

"Waterloo is a great site. It's centrally located in the state, players like it, it's been here a lot in the past, everyone's familiar with it and the layout is just perfect," said Horak.

This state pool tournament is now scheduled take place in Waterloo through 2013.

This week's tournament will go through Sunday and it's open to the public.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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