Bikers Yet To Impact Downtown Sales
COLUMBIA - The National Biker's Roundup is halfway over in Columbia and downtown businesses said Friday they are not seeing the expected boost in sales. The District estimated 6 million dollars in extra revenue from visitors this week. Downtown merchants are coming up with their own opinions for why bikers are staying clear of downtown..
Nathan Fuchs of Ernie's Cafe said, "It's an outdoor event so there's going to be lots of entertainment there. I feel like they don't really have to come into the city."
A Broadway business believes the extra security is impacting the biker's routes. Lucy's Corner Cafe manager Cody Rice said, "They try to stay put in one area. They know it's not normal for that kind of security."
And while downtown may not be increasing sales, other areas of Columbia are. "Wal Mart has seen tons of business, basically anything right there on that Conley Road area has gotten tons of business," said Fuchs.
Another downtown business said no one really knew what to expect from this event. Lisa Bartlett of Artlandish Gallery said, "I think with events like this every different situation is a learning experience, and this hasn't happened here before, so nobody knew what was going to happen, but I still think it's a benefit for Columbia."
Thr Biker Roundup lasts until Sunday, and downtown businesses are still optimistic that bikers will make their way downtown. "We are waiting for them and we are ready," said Bartlett. "We would love for them to come and check out our quaint town here that has a lot to offer."