Hotels, bars prepare for thousands of March Madness fans

March Madness returns to Greenville
March Madness returns to Greenville

GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – The NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament gets underway in just a few days, and fans are now looking to find tickets and hotel rooms to watch their favorite teams play.

Greenville is in a March Madness of its own. The SEC Women’s Tournament just wrapped up, and now it’s time for some of the best men’s teams in the country to take center court.

March Madness is known for the crazy games, and the Upstate has been preparing since October for the thousands of fans coming in for the weekend.

Some fans started making reservations for hotel rooms back in 2016. After it was announced that local favorites like South Carolina, Duke and North Carolina would all be heading to the Upstate, calls flooded the hotels hoping for an open room.

Now most hotels are booked for the weekend.

“I think it certainly opens a lot of people’s eyes to us as a destination, and makes us a consideration for people who maybe haven’t considered us in the past,” says David Montgomery, V.P. of Sales with Visit Greenville.

Bars and restaurants are no exception. Employees are taking an “all hands on deck” approach to handle the crowds this weekend.

“We plan on being full every single night,” says Kirk Watkins, the general manager for Ruth’s Chris and Up On the Roof. “We have every single staff member on the entire weekend, we have every single room opened up as far as where we can dine and up on the roof. We are staffed to accept as many people as we can fit in here.”

The fun starts this Thursday when fans can go and watch their favorite teams practice. The games start Friday afternoon and wrap up Sunday.

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