Revenue from Sunday's Super Bowl showdown in New Orleans is spilling over into the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In fact, some Coast hotel owners say fans in for the big game are sending their occupancy soaring.
The Wachter family came all the way from Missouri to cheer on their team the St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl. The game may be in New Orleans but when it came to finding a hotel, the Wachters say the Gulf Coast was more their style.
"It's an absolutely gorgeous place," Bob Watcher said. "Here right on the gulf and it's convenient to New Orleans."
Some football fans say they came to the coast after they couldn't find rooms in New Orleans. Others say hotel rates and proximity to the game made the coast a better deal.
"Cost was a big thing. We actually had some rooms booked over there but for a group our size to be able to hit everybody's dollar amounts, we decided this would be more cost efficient," Rams fan Rich Patten said.
Some hotel executives say they're welcoming fans with open arms.
"It's been a major shot in the arm for the hotels and I'm sure the restaurants too," Asher Travis of the Hilton Hotels said. "Without being melodramatic, it's almost a lifesaver in the middle of winter that's not been a good season for us."
Some first time visitors say the game may be what drew them to the coast, but its scenic views might just bring them back.
"It's beautiful down here," Patriots fan Joe Crowley said. "We might could even come down here in the summertime. It looks so beautiful. The beaches, I've never seen such beautiful beaches."
Visitors to the Super Bowl can expect tight security. To see a list of regulations go to www.superbowlxxxvi.org.
By Danielle Thomas