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Olympic Trials give St. Louis business owners an economic boost

"So many business owners downtown are going to benefit from having this event here, and all eyes are going to be on St. Louis," restaurant owner Dale Hutton says

ST. LOUIS — The U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials are in full swing at The Dome at America's Center in downtown St. Louis.

Down the street at the Over/Under Bar and Grill near 10th and Washington, Dale Hutton and his staff have been on the go.

"Everybody's excited because we get to do what we love to do and that's host and feed people," Hutton said.

All week the downtown business has been hosting lots of locals and tons of tourists in town for the long-awaited gymnastics trials.

"We actually started seeing guests come in on Monday and so it's been a slow climb, so we're happy," Hutton said.

"Happy" to see the mega, national sporting event help their bottom line.

A year ago, Hutton temporarily laid off a majority of his staff, lost revenue and feared he'd have to shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, now the picture is brighter.

Droves of sports fans this week are especially thrilled to see the Olympic trials at the Dome.

"It's a really big deal," said B. Pongamanawut, the general manager at Sen Thai-Asian Bistro downtown.

The "big deal" is also bringing big bucks to the Sen Thai-Asian Bistro downtown.

"We are pretty excited. We see a lot of people really spending more during this weekend," Pongamanawut said. "It's good for our business, and I'm hoping Simone Biles might just stop by our restaurant, too."

The Olympic trials run through Sunday night.

Right now, there are still plenty of tickets available. 

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