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Basketball Tournament Slam Dunk for Area Businesses 

Joy Hollowell

Every year around this time, Bangor’s population increases by the thousands.The Maine High School Basketball tournament not only brings visitors to the city, it also brings in dollars.Many area businesses are cashing in on the weeklong event, including those in downtown Bangor.The stands at the Bangor Auditorium aren’t just full of fans, they’re also full of customers that will most likely need a place to sleep, eat and shop.”We come down and get a motel, kind of kick back, relax,” says Elizabeth Butler who is visiting from Fort Fairfield. “Go out and take in some of the shops that we don’t have in Northern Maine and go out to some great restaurants.”Basketball is a booming businesses in downtown Bangor this time of year. Paddy Murphy’s gets a great lunch and dinner crowd.”It’s a good opportunity for people who are local but not really local, to come down and see what we offer down here,” says Chris Rudolph, a bartender at the Irish pub. “It’s always packed, it’s definitely one of our busier weeks.”Rick Vigue is the owner of Rebecca’s gift store on Main Street.”People do like to go in and go shopping and browse around,” says Vigue, “and we do find an upswing in business this week.”Hollywood Slots Hotel and Raceway is directly across the street from the Bangor auditorium. Beginning last Thursday, their rooms have been nearly booked.”It’s an exciting time for everybody,” says John Osborne, Vice President and General Manager of Hollywood Slots Hotel and Raceway. “The employees are busy, the casino floor is active, so for us, it is the return of spring, regardless of what Punxsutawney Phil says.””If you drive by the auditorium during when people are arriving or departing, you realize how many people, how many thousands of people come,” says Vigue.