SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) – South Lake Tahoe is already a popular weekend destination, but add in some professional hockey – even more tourists trek to town.

It was a perfect weather day for live music on the patio, as business at McP’s Taphouse in South Lake Tahoe boomed for the weekend.

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“It felt like a summer day here, right in the middle of winter,” Joe Walton, the restaurant’s general manager said. His restaurant welcomed an “avalanche” of hockey fans after several difficult months from COVID.

“It’s just exciting having something like this here,” Walton said.

The National Hockey League’s outdoor games drew people from across state lines just to be near the fun. The pandemic pushed the NHL to use Tahoe as the backdrop for a rare game in the great outdoors.

“We just knew it would be a great atmosphere up here,” said Brandon Myers, who came from Las Vegas to cheer on his Golden Knights.

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Even though hockey fans couldn’t physically attend the game, many said traveling was still worth it.

“I’m so close to the vicinity to where they’re playing – I just love it,” said Kelly Austin, a Colorado Avalanche fan from Las Vegas.

But the beautiful Lake Tahoe day not quite ‘golden’ for the ice. The sun prompted several hours of game delay and picked back up at night time.

Still, business owners hope this historic weekend has a long-lasting impact.

“What it’s really doing is putting Tahoe on the map for people outside of just California and the Bay Area,” Walton said.

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The hope is this momentum carries over into Sunday’s game as well. The Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers will play earlier in the morning to hopefully avoid any delays due to ice.