The Texas Panhandle sees an increase in business during spring break

The Texas Panhandle sees an increase in business during spring break (ABC 7 Amarillo)

Spring break has officially began and Amarillo is crowded. Many Amarillo restaurants and attractions see a boom in business during spring break.

"Spring break has become a big deal for Amarillo and for our tourism community," said Eric Miller with the Amarillo Convention and Visitor Council. "There's no doubt about it. Over the last three, four, five years we see a lot of people coming in, a lot of people stopping at our attractions, at our restaurants and a lot of people staying the night too. It's just a good outlet for a lot of the region."

It is only day one of spring break and it is already getting busy. Palo Duro Canyon broke its all-time visitation record on Saturday. Its campsites are already booked through Sunday.

"It's definitely a lot different than what we've usually done and it's kind of cool to see that this is still in Texas and there are a lot of cool things to do," said Sam Hackett, visiting Amarillo from Houston.

Hackett and his family drove up from Houston to see Palo Duro and the Texas Panhandle. Another we spoke with is visiting family in Amarillo.

"It's an interesting town. I'm not too familiar with it," said Gerald Schoeffler, visitng from Lago Vista, Texas. "I came from far away and don't really know what to do, but if you can find someone to show you around, I think it's awesome. It's a cool town to kind of explore."

The Big Texan also broke records. Saturday alone, they served 3,800 people.

"We know it's coming every year and every year we get prepared for it and when it gets here, it's like 'oh my gosh we should have bought more food, we should have been more ready, we should have had more employees here," said Danny Lee, Co-Owner of the Big Texan.

He says the second Saturday in March is the single busiest day out of the entire year at the restaurant.

"You just cannot believe what business comes to Amarillo down I-40 and the business that it provides not just to the Big Texan but the whole community here," said Lee.

Each year there is an economic boost from this week and so far this year is following that pattern.

Though campsites are full at the Canyon, it is still open to day-time guests.

And the Big Texan says to plan for an hour to and hour and a half wait this week. They say it is best to go early and make reservations for parties of six or more.

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