Northern Exposure Hockey Tournament Boosts Duluth's Economy

By KBJR News 1

July 19, 2013 Updated Jul 19, 2013 at 6:24 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- With 90 degree weather the past few days, it's hard to look forward to winter..but it's never too early to start thinking about hockey.

A large hockey tournament is in town this weekend..bringing with it a large boost to Duluth's economy.

"Hahaha, it's like Christmas in July," said tournament director, Kasey Yoder.

The 8th Annual Northern Exposure Hockey Tournament has taken over the Northland.

"We figure there's about 1,000 players plus families, coaches and everyone else that comes up with them," said Yoder.

The three day tournament is expected to pump an estimated $750,000 dollars back into Duluth's economy.

Which is great news for area businesses.

"Its good for us, typically July is busy, but this fills us up" said Jesse Hinkemeyer, General Manager of the Edgewater Resort & Waterpark.

More than 300 players filled the rooms of the Edgewater this weekend.

"We'll have somewhere between 50-100 rooms that were booked with us so it's a good amount of revenue especially for July," said Hinkemeyer.

Brett Lommel traveled all the way from Phoenix Arizona to see his stepson play.

"We're trying to figure out what all we're gonna do this weekend and how to pack everything in," said Brett Lommel.

So far on the agenda...

"Gooseberry Falls, Split Rock Lighthouse, Canal park, Aquarium, the alpine slide up on Spirit Mountain. There's just a lot to do so we're gonna be jamming in between the games," said Lommel.

The teams come from all over the United States and Canada to enjoy all Duluth has to offer.

"They can play hockey anywhere. They like Duluth. They like the activities, they like the businesses.," said Yoder.

Giving the businesses a major boost and leaving them thankful for ice in July.

Tournaments kicked off Friday morning in Cloquet and will wrap up around 5:30 Sunday night with the Championship game.

Games are being played at Mars Lakeview Arena, Heritage Arena, SAHA in Superior, Hermantown Arena, UMD Campus Arena, and Cloquet Ice Arena.

You can check out the complete schedule on Northern Exposure AAA Hockey's website

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati
rmarnati@Kbjr.com