Businesses prepare for The Players Championship

By Heather Leigh, Mobile journalist, hleigh@wjxt.com
Chris Robbins, Evening newscast producer, crobbins@wjxt.com
Published On: May 04 2014 11:51:50 PM EDT
Updated On: May 05 2014 12:28:38 AM EDT

VIDEO: Local restaurants gear up for the years biggest event as the pro golfers and those that watch them have an impact on local businesses.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Businesses are gearing up for the influx of people hoping to get a sneak peak of the professional golfers in action and maybe a bite to eat and a drink as well.

Bars and restaurants are preparing for their biggest week of the year.

Whether you're looking for an icy margarita or a bite to eat between shots, local restaurants are willing and ready.

"It's like spring break for adults," said Cafe Andiamo owner Giovanni Recupito.

"We're all pumped up, were all excited about it, we're going to give people a great time," said Aqua Grill owner Cary Hart.

Hart said it's the event he and his staff wait all year for. He said he's happily participated for 26 years, building relationships with anyone from die-hard golf fans to the players themselves. He said it's a great boost to the local economy because it brings in so many people.

"There's a lot of people from the Golf Channel, NBC Sports, a lot of the pro golfers come here," said Hart. "It's a different type of clientele. A lot of cooperation are having celebrations and parties and entertaining clients."

Recupito said his business remains steady with more out-of-towners swinging in for food. He said he's noticed in the past the locals tend to stay away.

"There is a lot of traffic, timings are off. It's a very different week for everybody and for us, we set up differently, we expect different busy times, we staff differently," said Recupito. "We're not really sure exactly what's going to happen."

But Recupito said it's a change of pace he welcomes. Channel 4 found one local guy, Gilbert Meyers, who hopes to get a little star struck.

"I really like to see the celebrities around here. It's kind of fun," said Meyers. "You see these golfers on TV, all of a sudden you get to see them live. They come into the bar, you're like, 'Oh my God, that's this guy, that's that guy.'"

The local station has just released an app to help you get the most out of the tournament. THE PLAYERS app is available for Android and Apple devices. You can find all kinds of information, including maps of the course and details on parking.

The app also shows you where your favorite foods can be found. It'll also give you with the latest push alerts -- including weather alerts -- in case play is suspended.

Just search "TPC Sawgrass" in your App Store.

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