As thousands of Texas Tech graduates prepare to say goodbye to Lubbock, local businesses are saying hello to an economic boom. With families and visitors flooding the Hub City to watch their grads walk across the stage, millions of dollars will be pumped into Lubbock's restaurants, hotels, gas stations and other businesses.
"It's controlled chaos at its best," Triple J's manager Justin Zimmerman said. "Anyone who hasn't worked a graduation, this is as busy as you're ever going to get."
Zimmerman says their business doubles for Friday and Saturday with at least 1,000 people walking through their doors each of those days.
"We've had people book reservations for over a year. Tomorrow we're already booked from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m." Zimmer said.
Once these graduation crowds have filled up on food, they'll be heading to hotels. Those too have been booked to the max.
"It seemed like every single phone call we got was do you have any rooms tonight? Do you have any rooms tonight?," Hotel and Motel Association president Rob Meyer said.
Meyer says they opened up reservations for this weekend on Jan. 1. On that day alone they booked over 50% of their rooms, and by the second week in February they were completely booked.
"It literally sells out Lubbock. It will sell out Post, Brownfield and Plainview as well," Meyer said.
Adding up the cost of lodging, three meals a day, add in a little shopping, gas money and other expenses, Meyer says each visitor is pumping in hundreds of dollars into Lubbock.
"Texas Tech is the main driver of this city. Enjoy the money the tourists are leaving in Lubbock because you are saving that in tax revenue," Meyer said.
Texas Tech had two graduation ceremonies on Friday, and will have another three ceremonies on Saturday starting at 9 a.m.
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