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Pasadena gets boost from Rose Parade business

December 30, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The grand stands are up, the floats are almost done, and the dueling football teams are officially in town, as are their fans. As everyone awaits New Year's Day, Pasadena is feeling a big boost in business."It is indeed the first time we've hosted four out-of-state teams within a seven day period in the greater Los Angeles area and directly here in Pasadena," said Bill Flinn, chief operating officer of the Tournament of Roses Association.

About 300,000 out-of-towners are expected to attend the Rose Parade on New Year's Day, with 100,000 people attending the Rose Bowl game and another 100,000 going to the BCS Championship.

It's a bowl bonanza like never before.

"For at least the last month we've seen a big surge in hotel rooms, even prior to the actual teams being announced. When they knew they were kind of in the running they started already booking hotel rooms," said Janet Zaldua, director of communications and special events for the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Those who couldn't get rooms nearby are booking as far as Ventura and Orange counties.

"We anticipate that it will be somewhere in the vicinity of $350 million will impact the Southern California region," said Flinn.

According to Forbes, the Rose Bowl game is in the top five most popular sporting events. It follows the Olympics, the World Cup, the Super Bowl and the Daytona 500.

And this year, the BCS National Championship game will multiply revenue.

The Fresco family traveled from Columbus, Ohio, to root for their team, and while they and fellow Buckeyes fans wait for Friday's kickoff, they're spending time and money in Pasadena.

"Lots of fun shopping and that kind of thing," said visitor Lila Fresco.

There's no shortage of stores to choose from, especially along the parade route. Inventory from the major bowl games is for sale all along Colorado Boulevard, keeping fans and vendors happy.

"They're lucky to have two amazing bowl games back to back," said Derek Jernstedt of San Francisco.

Fans come with team spirit and extra spending money.

"I think probably it will total around $5,000 with the four tickets and the plane and everything," said Imtiaz Ahmed from Columbus, Ohio.