The largest city on the Crystal Coast is welcoming hundreds for the Big Rock tournament.

And Monday was opening day for the captains.

Business is booming along here in Morehead City as the action heats up on the water. And along the waterfront, something is sparking interest as well.

“It certainly impacts our community as well,” said Crystal Hesmer, tournament director. “The hotels, motels, restaurants, everyone, it’s like Christmas they tell us; big time around Carteret County.”

 While boats are coming in from day one of the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, folks are flocking inland as well to check out the scales and big fish caught by checking in at the new landing space.

Crews worked since last year to get it ready.

Clif Holloman has been coming to watch the Big Rock Tournament for over a decade and welcomes the new space.

“This new dock is a lot more spacious,” said Clif Holloman, spectator. “I feel like they can accommodate a bigger crowd. Got bleachers, there’s a lot more area for people to spectate. The old landing was kind of crowded and everybody was in one spot.”

After a big kickoff concert kickoff event over the weekend at the new landing space featuring country artist James Wesley, many folks have enjoyed the open area.

“Certainly a dream of ours for at least 15 years that we have a great open area,” explained Hesmer. “We were a little confined where we were. It allows so much more room for our sponsors and our community to come out and see the weigh in.”

The Crystal Coast Tourism Development Authority said over 2,000 showed up last year for the tournament, especially for when a big fish came in.