Holiday, Poinsettia Bowl rake in millions for San Diego

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SAN DIEGO - The annual Poinsettia and Holiday bowls are around the corner and already several San Diego businesses are cashing in, thanks to the 30,000 tourists visiting from out of town.

"We're big Navy fans and we try to go to a few games each year,” said Brian Gray who is visiting from Chicago.

Sales from tourism for the county, according to the San Diego Bowl Association, reached nearly $30 million for 2013 and similar numbers are projected for this year as well.

Sales tax also brought in nearly $400,000 from dining, entertainment and shopping.

"Big rush, people are coming in from every angle of the store,” said Cynthia Hernandez of The Village Hat Shop. "I didn't ask what team they're going for but they say they're here for the game."

Hernandez said sales for the last two days have soared -- a big plus for many Seaport Village businesses owners who are cashing in now before the slow season hits.

In a report conducted by San Diego State University, 25 percent of fans in town hit the beaches, 2 percent visit the zoo and only 1 percent head to SeaWorld.

When asked how much they spend, the study found that visitors dish out an average $150 a day on entertainment.

"Well we’re here for the week so probably a few thousand dollars at least,” said Gray.

This is also a very busy time for hotels. The San Diego Bowl Association reports 35,000 room nights were sold in 2013 with similar projections for this year.