Diving Into Dough

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People are diving into Lewisburg for the PIbAA High School Swimming and Diving Championships.

This week thousands of people from all over the state are in Union County, and that means a boost in business for the local economy.

More than 1,000 high school swimmers, their coaches and their families will be at Bucknell University over the next few days, many of them driving more than three hours to get there. That's good news for hotels and restaurants in Lewisburg.

"It's one of our highlights of the year. The kids work so hard all year long to build up to the final climax of the season," said David Buerger of Pittsburgh.

His children go to North Allegheny High School. He and a group of around 60 people drove three and a half hours to Lewisburg for the state championships.

"We start making plans about three to four months before the championships, making reservations at a hotel, making sure everyone from our team has a place to stay. We call the restaurants to get a place for our team," said Buerger.

While the students are swimming, their families are spending time at restaurants and hotels in Lewisburg. Employees at Damon's Grill tell Newswatch 16 some teams booked reservations weeks in advance.

"It's usually crazy in here for this week, especially at night. We're very excited and pumped up for swimming week," said Kelly Yarger of Damon's Grill.

She said the swimming crowd brings so much business that sometimes the restaurant has standing room only.

Just a few miles away, Comfort Suites opened up last September. Hotel employee Veronica Ulrich said the swimming championships are great for the local economy.

"It's had a wonderful impact on the hotel. We are filled up and will be for the rest of this week," said Ulrich.

The PIAA High School Swimming and Diving Championships started Wednesday morning and runs until Saturday in Lewisburg.