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PGA Tour's BMW Championship expected to bring about 140,000 people to Wilmington area

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WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) -- The PGA Tour has descended upon Wilmington this week for the BMW Championship. This tournament puts Wilmington, Delaware in the national spotlight.

A huge influx of visitors is expected this week, which is great for local businesses.

About 140,000 people are expected to come to Wilmington for the PGA Tour's BMW Championship, which officially kicks off on Thursday.

"This is like our Super Bowl. I don't think that we've ever had anything quite like this, at least in my lifetime, in Delaware," Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Jennifer Boes said.

Tourism officials say the tournament will bring a much-needed boost to the tourism industry, including hotels, restaurants and gift shops.

"It's huge for us because of the economic impact. It was in the Baltimore region last year and the economic impact was estimated to be $30 million I believe, so we're expecting that and even more here," Boes said.

At Brew HaHa! on Kennett Pike, workers are already starting to see an influx of customers.

"We've seen some people trickle in throughout the week, but we're thinking on Thursday through Sunday will be the most of it," general manager Tori Dennis said.

Meanwhile, at PureBread Deli on Kennett Pike, workers are also happy to welcome the boost in business.

"I think it's been about a 25% increase in business and we expect to see maybe a 75% increase on Friday and Saturday," director of operations Linda Morel said.

At shopping centers near the Wilmington Country Club, signs are up, warning drivers not to park there for the tournament or they'll be towed.

Spectators aren't allowed to park at the Wilmington Country Club. Instead, they have to pre-purchase a parking pass for a park-and-ride service to take them to and from the event.

"I know parking is a premium here. Friday, I'm going to park at the Brandywine Town Center and shuttle over," spectator Trevor Turner said.

The Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau organized a webpage containing coupons that visitors and residents can use at restaurants, museums, salons and other businesses. It's called the Wilmington & the Brandywine Valley Discount Pass. You sign up by filling out this form.

You will receive a text with a link to the webpage. 

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