SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) The excitement and "madness" of March has begun in Salt Lake City.
Eight college basketball teams from around the country are bringing their fans to Salt Lake City.
Six games total will be played through Sunday. Downtown businesses are ready for the economic shot in the arm.
"It's exciting to be able to have a tournament of this magnitude in this city is really, really exciting, said Steve Lundgren, the General Manager for the Salt Lake Marriott Downtown City Creek.
Lundgren said the Marriott is near capacity. The hotel is hosting the New Mexico Lobos. "It's good business, our hotel in Salt Lake City does convention business primarily downtown and this is like a convention,” said Lundgren. “Our hotel will likely fill-up predominately for five days, a lot of food and beverage and people are here on vacation and they spend money and they're looking for good things to do, so it's great for our city.”
The Red Rock Brewery has already seen plenty of business including entire teams who filled up the restaurant several times this week.
"We're having a lot of teams, we had New Mexico the other night the entire team, we had Belmont in here the other night, the entire team, so it'll bring in a lot of people from out of state which is great,” said Stephan Marsco, General Manager of Red Rock.
Salt Lake isn't only benefitting from the fans who've traveled here. The tournament will be highlighting Utah on TV-- reaching people across the country watching the games from home.
“People will be seeing at home on TV and seeing all the snow and being reminded of what a great ski destination we are, so I think we'll see a boost in tourism traffic as a result in the years to come being the host city,” said Nick Como, Downtown Alliance.