NEOSHO, MO.--- Since 1954, Neosho has been home to one of the biggest basketball tournaments in the area. The talent on the court is great, but the impact on the city is even better. This year's Neosho Holiday Classic will bring together 16 boy and 11 girl teams from across the country to play against each other for three days.
"We are such a small town, and something big like this, it's good for everybody. Everybody enjoys a good sporting event," said Katie McElhany, Hotel Manager in Neosho.
Katie McElhany is the general manager of the Best Western in Neosho. She says every year, people reserve rooms for the event six months in advance.
"It fills the void between December 25th and then the New Years, because a lot of businesses are shut down for that week. So this tournament brings revenue that otherwise we wouldn't have had," said McElhany.
"The city supports this tournament just because of what it does for our city," said Troy Royer, Neosho City Manager.
Last year, the Neosho Holiday Classic for the area had an estimated impact of $300,000 based on the "Theory of Seven" model.
"Stores benefit because they get the sales and it helps their income base, and the hotel and motel tax that we have here in the town also comes back to the city to be able to fund tournaments like this," said Royer.
The tournament is one event the city can depend on year after year.
"I think it's a great thing every year. It brings exposure to the City of Neosho. Not just locally, but regionally and nationally," said Royer.
"It just brings the community together, a lot of people are interested in it, it's good for local businesses. It's just good all the way around, there is no downside," said McElhany.
Teams from Arkansas, Texas, and Florida traveled to Neosho to play in this year's three day event.
Copyright 2013 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.