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Libby all booked up for Class B tourney

| February 8, 2007 11:00 PM

By GWEN ALBERS Western News Reporter

All of Libby's Super 8 motel employees will work next weekend.

A high school boys' and girls' basketball tournament that will bring hundreds to town is the reason.

"We're full on Feb. 14, 15 and 16," said Jan Lee, supervisor for the 40-room motel at 448 U.S. Highway 2 next to Antler's Restaurant. "I've warned the housekeepers they will be working and told the desk clerks no one gets sick. I even have to work."

Libby Public Schools is hosting a Class B district tournament Wednesday through Saturday, Feb. 14-17. Teams will come Troy, Thompson Falls, Superior, Arlee, Mission and Plains.

"A lot of them stay here," said Libby High School principal Rik Rewerts. "There's a misconception that we make money doing this. We do this for the community. It brings business to our motels, gas stations and stores. Every motel will be filled."

All of the 71 rooms at the Venture Motor Inn and Restaurant at 443 U.S. Highway 2 are booked for Feb. 14, 15 and 16, said assistant manager Lydia Mysse.

"We have three schools here," Mysse said.

The double-elimination tournament could, however, mean canceled reservations into the weekend.

"They don't know who will lose," Mysse said. "If every team that's staying here wins, we will be full on Friday."

Most winter weekends, the Venture rents about 20 rooms, so the tournament is a significant thing.

"It's a big plus because we're full," she said. "Everybody in town makes money off the tournaments. They eat at the restaurants, everybody needs gas and everybody wants to do something when they're not playing. They go downtown and walk around and look at the stuff."

Allen Woods, co-owner of the 28-room Caboose Motel at 714 U.S. Highway 2, might be hanging out the "no vacancy" shingle come Thursday.

"We're filling up on the 15th and 16th," said Woods. "Were three-quarters full now."

Games will be played daily at 1, 2:30, 6 and 7:30 p.m. in the LHS gymnasium.

The cost to attend is $5 for students and $6 for adults per session. Each afternoon and evening session includes one girls' game and one boys' game. A pass for the entire tournament is $24 for students and $32 for adults.

"We do it for the community," Rewerts said. "Libby has been doing tournaments for years and years."