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      Syracuse prepares for the Women's Bowling Championships

      On Wednesday night, Syracuse-area bowlers and some of the 60,000 guests who will be in town over the next few months practiced on the 48 championship lanes installed at the Oncenter.

      Becky Bennett and her team drove in from Oklahoma with plans to eat at Dominick's Restaurant, see the zoo, check out Syracuse University - and bowl a little too.

      "Whatever there is - we're game for it," said Bennett.

      "That's why we made the trip in the van and we've been seeing quite a bit of Syracuse," said her teammate Sharon Woodson.

      That's what local restaurants and shops are hoping to hear. There are signs welcoming the Bowling Championships all over downtown. At the Ale and Angus Pub right across the street from the Oncenter, staff hope the new "kingpin" burger will be a hit with bowling fans.

      "Whenever they get the opportunity to work a little more and make a little more money, it's a great thing and if we can keep everybody working, it's good for the local economy and it's just good for everybody," said Randy Beach from Ale and Angus Pub.

      Many bowlers will only be throwing strikes at the Oncenter for a few hours a day so they should have plenty of time to explore. At restaurants like OPUS in Armory Square, they hope that will mean a lot of new customers over the next few months.

      "Dining week is two weeks long - this is nice. it's over a three month period," said chef Joseph DeVito.

      The tournament begins Thursday at the Oncenter, where a state-of-the-art bowling center has been set up to accommodate the more than 25,000 bowlers expected to compete over the next 88 days.

      In addition to the bowlers, local organizers expect thousands of others to visit Syracuse during the tournament, bringing an estimated $40 million economic boost to the city.

      More than 5,000 five-player teams from every U.S. state and several foreign countries are expected to compete in the tournament, which runs through July 3.

      Organizers say the Women's Bowling Championship could have an economic impact of $40 million on the Syracuse area.

      You can follow the U.S. Bowling Congress Championships in Syracuse on Twitter.

      Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.