Big Rock Tournament brings in big bucks for local businesses

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MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) – The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament continues with only three of the 172 boats that went out Tuesday reeling in blues.

It’s not only the boaters reeling it in. Morehead City is also feeling the gain with an increase in people.

9 On Your Side spoke with local shops and restaurants who said the tournament brings in big money for businesses.

One business owner claimed the week of the Big Rock Tournament is one of his best weeks of the year.

“I mean it surpasses Fourth of July and every other thing because it’s seven days,” said Konstanntinos Manousaridis.

The largest city on the Crystal Coast welcomes thousands for the 58th annual tournament and businesses are welcoming visitors with open arms in hopes of bringing in big money for their businesses.

Red Fish Grill is one of those businesses. It’s the only restaurant feet away from the Big Rock weigh-in dock, meaning folks can eat, drink and watch as fishermen reel in those blue marlin.

To take business a step further, Manousaridis said this year he opened up a food tent with select menu items to serve customers as fast and easily as possible.

“We kind of know what to do this year, we brought a tent to help take pressure away from the restaurant and we set up tiki bars outside on the deck.”

He said as long as the fish keep coming in his restaurant will continue to be packed.

Big Rock officials say they estimate between 2000 to 5000 people come out to the tournament on any given day.

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