Archive for Monday, June 21, 2004

Businesses see small surge in sales

June 21, 2004


Saturday afternoon one vehicle after another pulled into the parking lot at Clinton Cove Mini Mart near the entrance to Clinton State Park.

"It's been a steady stream of people," said Donna Johnson, after she finished giving directions to a girl trying to find her way around the Clinton Lake-Kansas Highway 10 area.

The Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival, which concluded Sunday, drew thousands of people to the Lawrence area. Some businesses, especially on the west end of Lawrence, cashed in during the four days of the festival.

"It's been excellent for business," Johnson said, adding that she'd talked to people coming from as far away as California and New York as well as from throughout the Midwest.

Although technically those attending the festival weren't supposed to bring in their own beer, that didn't stop festival-goers from making trips to westside liquor stores.

"I'd say it's probably doubled," said Daniel Ayala, an employee at Glass House Liquor, 2301 Wakarusa Drive, about business at the store.

"We've had quite a few," Mike Marsh, an employee at Ray's Wines & Spirits West, 721 Wakarusa Drive, said about customers from the festival. "A few people want to know how to get to Clinton Parkway but most people know."

At Glass House, festival fans were buying mostly imported and microbrew beers, Ayala said.

And although food vendors were at the festival, some visitors may have been buying their own food and other items at the Hy-Vee Food Store, 3504 Clinton Parkway. Some customers have been asking questions that indicated they are not regular customers of the store, general merchandise manager Scott Kahler said.

"I think there has been a little spike in business," Kahler said.

At least three bands performing in the festival were staying at Days Inn, 2309 Iowa, motel employee David McNicoll said. Others attending the festival also may have been staying there, he said.

"We've been just about filled since Thursday," McNicoll said.

Jim Biemick and Rick Martin set up a barbecue stand in the parking lot at Clinton Cove Mini Mart. Biemick, of Lawrence, owner of Biemer's Barbecue, said he didn't want to pay the $1,000 vendor fee to set up inside the festival grounds, nor did he want to turn over 20 percent of his gross proceeds, which was also a requirement. He said business had been decent but not as good as he thought it would be.

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