A minimum of 125,000 visitors are expected to swarm the Grand Lake region, with a 25 million dollar economic boost expected just from this one fishing tournament. For Tulsa, Grove, Joplin and everywhere in between.
The Grand Lake Associations Executive Director Tad Jones said, ""I don't think we'll fully grasp how big it is until it actually comes, until you actually see the people that are going to be here, when you actually see the notoriety, because this is a brand new deal for Grand Lake to have one of this magnitude."
Grand Lake has intermittently hosted Bassmaster Series events before - most recently in 2007 - but while the 46 mile long fishery has long been recognized as one of the nation's best - the lack of a top notch launch facility prevented any type of regular stop.
That all changed when the Tulsa Sporting Commission put in a 500,000 dollar bid to host the granddaddy that is the Bassmaster Classic.
Grove City Manager Bruce Johnson says, "It's the biggest economic development factor we have in all of NE Oklahoma...at the end of the day, what we want is to have the best fishing facility, a world-class fishing facility, that is known throughout the United States and ultimately throughout the world."
With Tulsa serving as the catalyst, the city of Grove made a 20 acre purchase of land and budgeted four and a half million dollars for construction of two new parking lots, four new docks and pavilions.
Small change when considering the notoriety and return on investment for years to come.
Something Jones is noticing already. "We're seeing them come. Already we're seeing people from around the nation come to fish and prefish and learn about Grand Lake."
As for Johnson, there are big goals extending beyond the Classic. "Our goal is to have a national championship fishing tournament here each and every year, along with another 100-150 smaller, regional tournaments, area tournaments."
This will be the first Bassmaster Classic held this far west since 1979 and first ever in the 43 year history of the championship event in the state of Oklahoma.
The dates to know are February 22-24, with the fishing to take place at Grand Lake and the daily weigh-ins and outdoors expo to take place at Tulsa's BOK and Convention Centers.