SPOKANE, Wash. - The hype for Hoopfest 2019 is just getting started. The 3-on-3 basketball tournament is in four days and is projected to bring more than 24,000 people to downtown Spokane.
The tournament draws in people from all over the country. Last year, players represented 47 of the 50 states.
It's a community event that keeps the adrenaline pumping, not just for the players, but the businesses working to serve them. According to Hoopfest, the event last year had around a $50 million economic impact on the community.
If you're someone who isn't talented in the sport of basketball, you can still take part in all of the fun. Many local businesses are celebrating this week with Hoopfest specials for the event. None of which, require you to know how to make a free throw.
"It is crazy, it is just insane," said Kennedy Magner, employee at Hello Sugar.
"Our cafe is full, like from wall to wall," said Koryn Eskridge, general manager for Method Juice Cafe.
"It's just one of the most active and fun events all year long. We're just happy to be a part of it," said Bill Powers, marketing specialist for No-Li Brewhouse.
The verdict is unanimous. Hoopfest weekend is a slam dunk. Not talking about the players, unless those players are your local businesses.
"Last year, we sold like 400. It was crazy," Eskridge said.
It's a simple smoothie recipe - strawberries, bananas, coconut milk, and agave. This special Hoopfest smoothie at Method Juice Cafe in Spokane sells fast and heavy.
"Last year, we had people come back numerous times in a day," Eskridge said.
They weren't the only ones with a Hoopfest special creating long lines.
"We had an entire new map laid out for the store to figure out how to make the line run smoothly, how to to get donuts out quick," Magner said.
The butterball donut is making a return at Hello Sugar, just for Hoopfest.
"All of our donuts are made out of cake batter. We dunk it in a butterscotch icing, and then you have a chocolate drizzle on it. And it's in the shape of a basketball," Snyder said.
Hello Sugar said they sold thousands of butterball donuts last year.
"To play with the theme that Spokane is doing and to do it as part of the community is cool," Snyder said.
You can also commemorate your Hoopfest weekend with a pint glass from No-Li. It's the first year the brewhouse is the official craft beer sponsor.
"For No-Li just to have a little part to play in being part of that community event, it's really exciting for us," Powers said.
From beer, to donuts, to smoothies, it's all in celebration of an event that's greater than any score on the board.
"It's so cool to play just a small part in just making a donut in the shape of a basketball," Magner said.
Other local businesses are offering basketball and Hoopfest-themed treats this week. Sweet Frostings said they will bring back their basketball sugar cookie for the tournament.
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