Vols Boost Business in Blount County

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Maryville, Blount County (WVLT) - Big games bring in big bucks to Knox County, but the money flow doesn't stop there.

I was over in Blount County today to see what businesses are hoping to ring up as the Vols get ready to take on the gators.

"Number one! I hope he stays number one."

Some of the best Vols fans aren't in Knoxville but Blount County.

"I'll take tickets up and then I'll see two quarters of it. I'm a football fan," says Blanche Taylor.

But with all the fans coming to town for the game, the people here are looking forward to seeing some tourism dollars.

"All of the hotels are jam packed. All of our restaurants are filled. Our shops are filled. Big orange is big business," says George Williams, Alcoa City Commissioner.

Thursday Maryville hosts what sounds like a fancy tailgate party, "A Taste of Blount" where restaurants exhibit some of their new food ideas.

"We're going to have everything from sushi to pulled pork to fine coffees," says Kathy DeLozier, Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President.

While it's not a tailgate party, officials say it compliments attempts to bring football fans to the area.

"It really enhances their visit here while they're here for the Florida game so it gives them a local flavor too," DeLozier says.

And area restaurants are looking for a few of those visiting family, friends, and even Floridians.

"Phil Fulmer has a great influence on the restaurant business in East Tennessee that's for sure," says Randy Burleson, Aubrey's Restaurant owner.

It always takes a good promotional idea to get folks to come but on game day there's always a necessity.

"You try to offer some specials to go along with it but obviously the first thing you have to do is have the football game on television and Aubrey's has a lot of televisions," Burleson says.