Primary means big bucks for businesses

Columbia, S.C. (WACH) - Itâ??s a perfect storm for Blue Marlin owner Bill Dukes.

January is normally a slow time in the restaurant business, but Dukes is seeing an increase in sales thanks in part to the candidates and their supporters visiting his business and other eateries in Columbiaâ??s Vista.

This year the primary is coinciding with Columbiaâ??s annual Restaurant Week.

"Weâ??re also enjoying a lot of additional catering business because of the chartered aircraft that are coming in, we do private aircraft catering."

As the nation's first in the south primary draws closer; South Carolina is getting a lot of national exposure and that means big bucks for the hotel and restaurant industry.

CEO of the South Carolina Restaurant and Hospitality Association Tom Sponseller says he wonâ??t know the full impact of the primaries on the industry until after Election Day January 21st.

"We've got debates this week in Charleston and Myrtle Beach, rooms are very busy in those two markets when you bring all the media together at one time you see the impact."

Dukes is optimistic the Blue Marlin will stay busy when the primary is done because the state legislature is in session.