As more than 100 police K9s and their handlers come to Punta Gorda for a national competition, area businesses are seeing a much needed boost.

Squad cars from all over the country fill the parking lot at the Punta Gorda Waterfront Hotel which is hosting the police officers and their dogs.

The manager says in a typical offseason week, the hotel is only 40% full. This week, it is completely booked.

Punta Gorda beat out Washington D.C. to host the United States Police Canine Association national trials.

“My argument was that we can’t really compete with Washington D.C. on cultural things, but they can’t compete with us on the sand and sun in October. So that’s how we won it,” explains Captain Jim Nichols who lobbied for Punta Gorda to host the competition.

The chamber of commerce says the city might benefit from the event even in the future. The organization hopes these visitors encourage their friends back home to visit Punta Gorda.

Spectators can watch all of the competitions for free. The main show is Thursday night at the Charlotte Sports Park starting at 6:30. The country’s top dog will be named Friday evening.

Posted: Oct 15, 2012 5:48 PM EDT

Updated: Oct 16, 2012 1:42 AM EDT