SPOKANE, Wash.— Hoopfest 2022 is one week away, and downtown business are preparing for its return.
The largest 3-om-3 basketball tournament in the world is back for its 31st year after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. The event brings in around $47 million to the Inland Northwest. As a result, downtown restaurants are preparing for one of their busiest weekends of the year.
O’Doherty’s Irish Grille is one of the many restaurants that’s been in the center of the action for over 30 years. Gearing up for their second biggest weekend of the year, owner Tim O’Doherty says he bought a new freezer, planning to fill it with french fries, one of their biggest buys during Hoopfest.
He said hiring has been a challenge, but they’re still ready for the crowds to come celebrate one of his favorite event’s return.
“To see these things come back is just a sense of normalcy returning to the rhythms of our city, so i love that,” O’Doherty said. “It gives me calmness in my heart.”
The grille will only serve around 15 of customer’s favorites the weekend of Hoopfest. O’Doherty says it helps them be more efficient and getting people their desired food in a timely manner.
Not phased by the smaller amount of teams registered for Hoopfest than previous years, O’Doherty is thankful that Hoopfest is back.
O’Doherty loves seeing his local customers as well as meeting new people who travel from all over to be part of one of the richest traditions the Inland Northwest has to offer.
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