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Published July 31, 2010, 08:39 PM

Cats Incredible Brings Customers to Area Businesses

With the big catfish tournament on the Red River, businesses in Grand Forks-East Grand Forks are luring in customers this weekend.

By: Meagan Millage, WDAZ

Businesses say customer traffic has picked up quite a bit this weekend thanks to the fishing tournament attracting so many people.

"When we get anything down there by the boardwalk and we start to see a lot of good action down here," Whitey's Cafe Manager Keith Jones said.

The 23rd annual Cats Incredible fishing tournament brings thousands to the Red River in East Grand Forks. And businesses in that area see a big increase in customers.

"We get a lot of traffic with the tournament. A lot of people looking around, just trying to stay cool as it is very hot," Cabela's Assistant Manager Brad Olson said.

Besides shopping at Cabela's, people have also been flocking to the outdoor patios along the boardwalk.

"That's what we're seeing- a lot of people on the patio stopping in, get out of the sun. But they're stopping and having dinner and it's great, so we're really liking it," Jones said.

With so many more people, how do businesses prepare?

"Just make sure we have staff up. Increase our inventory levels a little bit and just make sure we're ready overall. But we do well on the weekends anyway but we really, you know, see a big bump from this kind of thing," Jones said.

"We are one of the major sponsors for the tournament so we have a few in-store events with some chaise chairs on sale, some rod and reels are on sale as well," Olson said.

And as people stop in to beat the heat, they're doing more than just browsing. The money they're spending is also an added benefit to the businesses.

"We've seen a lot of fishing rod and reel sales for the catfish tournament, as well as strong bait sales," Olson said

"A lot of people that haven't been to Whitey's in a long time are stopping in. So yeah its an excellent deal," Jones said.

The Cats Incredible fishing tournament started yesterday and ends tomorrow. The three day event brings many people from surrounding communities to the area.