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Jan 6, 2013 12:03 PM by Daniel Erusha - KPAX News

Seeley Lake hockey tourney boosts tourism

SEELEY LAKE - Seeley Lake is celebrating its third annual pond hockey tournament, an event that brings more than just hockey players to town.

Over 100 people turned out Saturday for the annual Seeley Lake pond hockey tournament, with Robin Turner saying she came up from Missoula to enjoy the winter fun.

"We are here to watch the pond hockey tournament, see some people compete, and enjoy the nice weather and clear skies."

Turner was not alone, as many of the spectators and players come from across Montana, the United States, and even some from Canada, for the games.

When the cold gets to players and spectators, many of them go to places like Lindsey's Prime Steak House to enjoy a nice warm meal.

Owner Mike Lindemer is one of the sponsors of the event, and he says that the event helps bring in customers they wouldn't usually have during the slower winter months.

"This is kind of a dead weekend. The weekend after the first of the year is usually pretty quiet, then we start doing winter fests snowball and other activities in town, and now we are adding another element to Seeley Lake, and I think it's helping out a ton," Lindemer explained.

He added that many of the out of town teams are staying in Seeley Lake for the tournament, helping bolsters other tourism services like hotels.

Turner says she knows what events like pond hockey mean to a town like Seeley Lake.

"It's nice to see they found something else for people to do during the winter. I am from a small town, so I know how important it is for small towns to find activities to draw people in," she said.

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