Wagga is gearing up for the busiest weekend in a year as the Touch NSW Junior State Cup rolls into town.
The cup begins today and runs through the weekend, bringing as many as 10,000 people to the city.
The event will be the first time the Big 4 Wagga Holiday Park has been full since this time last year, with the caravan park booked out every year by a regular group of cup participants.
Big 4 co-owner Martin Cotterell said the event was a boost after a horror year for the accommodation industry, which continues to see a downturn due to travel uncertainty.
"The issue is the unpredictable border closures ... it's put off a lot of people coming from the southern border," he said.
He said the New Years Eve closure with Victoria slashed his business in half in a matter of hours, and it was great to see an event now bringing so many people from within the state to the city.
"This is exciting for the town after all we've been through," he said.
"This event has been very, very well organised."
One of the closest hospitality businesses to the main action, the Tolland Hotel is anticipating a big weekend.
Assistant manager Tom Weatherall said major events like this one had a significant positive impact on their business.
"That makes a massive, massive difference in our figures, we really look forward to events like that," he said.
"I dare say it's going to be pretty busy."
Nearby businesses are not the only ones seeing the benefit the cup brings.
Wagga mayor Greg Conkey said accommodation within a 150 kilometre radius of the city was booked out ahead of the event.
"It brings in several million dollars, it's a great injection for the city," Cr Conkey said.
"The city has been doing it tough over the last 12 months, we're not the only ones, but COVID has had a great impact on the economy of the city and it's great we can have this injection this weekend."
The accommodation rush has not been without its challenges, with Cr Conkey last year writing to accommodation providers to express disappointment with some businesses hiking up prices for the weekend.
He said this year a small amount of businesses, mostly Airbnbs, were still putting prices at a premium.
"The vast majority of accommodation facilities have done the right thing, but unfortunately there's still a few I'm concerned about and that's disappointing," he said.
The 2021 event is the last for the current contract, and Cr Conkey said the council would be working closely with Touch NSW to try secure the event into the future.
"It's a great venue, it's one of the best in the state with easy parking and it's reasonably central ... fingers crossed it might again come our way," he said.
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