by Victor Lopez
MIDLAND--People are coming from all over to get a glimpse of President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush, and that's good news for local businesses.
With the number of people that are expected next Tuesday, you can be sure Midland businesses will get a welcomed boost. But none will profit quite as much as the ones in downtown. Some have been getting ready for over a week now.
"It will be a little busier and of course, there will more people in the building, so we'll have everyone that we have, on duty those days," Midland Hilton General Manager, Kieth Dial, said.
Dial says reservations started picking up as early as last week, people wanting a place to stay during the President's visit, "There are quite a few people coming in from Washington and New York then of course people out of Austin and I think, a lot of well wishers from around the state and the country."
The increase in guests means an increase in revenue. That's something everyone can use right now. "This is a very positive business thing for our property and I think, probably the whole community will see an uptake in business next week," Dial said.
It's expected that all 256 rooms in the hotel will be reserved by the end of the business day on Friday. That means a little more work for hotel employees. According the G.M., "We're going to expand some hours, stretch hours for breakfast, lunch and a little earlier dinner hour."
Even so, the general attitude of the staff is postive.
"It's exciting. We have different personalities in the building. It's a break from their normal routine," Dial explained.
There's a historical significance to President Bush's homecoming. Dial admitted it's something the Hilton is proud to be a part of, "He began his Inauguration Day, 8 years ago, here with a celebration and kick off. I think that it's fitting, somehow, that he comes back home at the end of that day, before he departs completely, from our public life."
Tickets for next Tuesday's event will be available through Monday. As of now, the place you can get them is the Bush Childhood Home on West Ohio.