Ocean City, Md.- Business is boomin' in Ocean City for the 44th annual White Marlin Open with the event bringing in over 9,000 fisherman and thousands of spectators this year.
353 boats are registered for biggest event of the year in Ocean City, but the weather on Monday and Tuesday caused the tournament to get off to a slow start. Even with the unkind conditions, attendance is not down. The influx of people to the area bring in tens of millions of dollars every year in this week alone.
In an economic study conducted by the state in 2009, they found that the tournament brought in over $16 million to Worcester county, in one week alone.
This year is the highest purse in the history of The Open and Motsko says they're on pace to bring in well over $20 million.
"This is without a doubt, I've said this before in an interview, this is the biggest week in Ocean City, this week," says Scott Lathroum, owner of the Reel Inn. "They bring in a lot of people, they bring in a lot of revenue."
Every year since The Great Recession, The Open is on it's way back to where it once was.
"Ever since we started we had a steady increase each year until the Great Recession," said tournament president Jim Motsko. "After that we went from 449 boats and two years later we were down to 239 and ever since then we've been crawling our way back up."
Only 139 boats went out on Monday, and even less, 12, hit the water on Tuesday. But, 297 sent sail on Wednesday. Tournament organizers say spectators can expect to see an average of over 300 boaters on Thursday and Friday.
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