On May 10, Ticonderoga will kick off its 2008 bass fishing season as they welcome the Albany Bass Masters on Lake Champlain in what will be the first of many busy weekends on the lake. Lake Champlain has long been known as one of the best bass fisheries in the country and in the 2008 season will host 21 Bass Fishing Tournaments from May through October, with fellow Adirondack destination, Lake George, hosting five. Each year tournament directors from across the nation reach out to the local Department of Conservation office in hopes of securing a weekend for their tournament and with a limited number of weekends each year and limited window of time to secure sponsorships and a booking, demand is high. In a recent FLW Outdoors study provided by the town of Ticonderogas Supervisors Office it was found that for every 200 boats for any given tournament brings in over $1 million to the surrounding communities. This includes but is not limited to lodging, food and beverage establishments, gas stations, and local supply outlets. Due to launching issues both Lake Champlain and Lake George have to pass on events bigger than 175 boats with most tournaments hosting between 75 and 150 boats according to Ticonderoga Chairman of Economic Development Steve Whitford. Though the lakes themselves are at capacity there is evidence to suggest there is room to grow in other areas. One such example is in the lodging business. Local residences Michael and Jovana Stipo and Peter and Denise Ward have recently opened the new Best Western Inn and Suites in Ticonderoga. Deb Malaney, Sales and Marketing Manager for the location, says there was and is a demand for the new property. Ms. Malaney believes with over 100,000 visitors to the region each season there is still more room for growth. For more information regarding the upcoming Bass Fishing Season you can check out the Ticonderoga Web site at www.ticonderogany.com or the Town of Ticonderoga events Web site at http://www.townofticonderoga.com/events/events.html. Chris Ward is the communications manager at the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.