15,000-20,000 people are expected to visit Marshall County in just a couple of weeks for Hydrofest on Lake Guntersville.
WAAY 31 talked to local businesses about the amount of people expected to visit during the event and the impact it will have on their sales.
“Weekends, of course, are busy, especially during the summer because of boating season, so there’s a lot of people we don’t see during the fall that come just for tourist season," said Nicole Pierce.
Pierce is the manager of Fire by the Lake and says she’s used to being busy, but says she might be a little in over her head in a couple of weeks.
“We’ve had a concert before where we’ve had a lot of people, but as far as something this big, we’ve yet to have that here—which we’re pretty excited about it, but at the same time, we’re trying to make sure everything’s in place before it happens," she said.
According to officials with the Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau, 15,000-20,000 people are expected to come into town during the Hydrofest race on Lake Guntersville. That’s more than double the amount of people who live in Guntersville.
Pierce says they’ve already started planning for the masses.
“We’re going to have to, of course, be fully staffed. We’re also going to have to order more food, more drinks," she said. "We’re also going to have to block off parking and stuff like that to make it safe for everybody.”
And Pierce isn’t alone. Many other restaurants in downtown Guntersville are also expecting business to boom.
And officials say most hotels in the area are already booked, while many restaurants are already taking reservations.
“We’re going to reserve tables," Pierce said. "That way it’s not as chaotic as it could be.”
Chaos or not, Pierce says her restaurant is fired up and ready for the race.
“We’ll have tables outside so people will be able to watch it and be on the patio right here and everything like that.”
For those who can’t wait until the race, there will be a meet-and-greet in the Guntersville High School parking lot on Thursday, June 21st, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. for a chance to get up close and personal with the racing boats and their drivers.
Tickets for Guntersville Lake Hydrofest are on sale now. You can get them at the CVB’s office at 200 Gunter Avenue, or click here.
Adult general admission: $20 per weekend pass
Children, ages 6-12 general admission: $10 per weekend pass (children age 5 and under will be free)
Ticket prices will be more expensive the week of the event both online and at the gate. Those prices are as follows:
Adult general admission: $30 per weekend pass
Children, ages 6-12 general admission: $15 per weekend pass (children age 5 and under will be free)
Parking for Guntersville Lake HydroFest will be off-site with bus transportation running from 7am – 7pm daily. Parking is $5 a day. Recommended lots for parking are as follows:
* Traveling 431 North from Birmingham/Gadsden/Anniston: Guntersville High School Bucky Howe Park Cherokee Elementary School
* Traveling 79 North from Birmingham: Cherokee Elementary School
* Traveling 431 South from Huntsville: County Park 1 Conner's Island Industrial Park Guntersville City Harbor Guntersville Downtown Parking Decks
Handicap parking will be provided on a limited basis at the Guntersville Recreation Center. Those wishing to park in handicap lot should enter Finlay Plaza Parking Lot, following the signs for VIP and Volunteer parking. For more information, please contact the HydroFest office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 256-582-7015.