BUSY WEEKEND: Big Crowds Downtown
Downtown hotels and restaurants are enjoying the spike in business, but it’s also comes with some complications.
With some reservations made a year in advance, finding a place to stay or eat is a challenge.
“Each event, Valentine`s Day and wrestling can be very busy so we love having all the people here but it would have been nice to have it spread out a little bit, but it`s great for business so we`ll take it,” says Assistant General Manager with the Hyatt Place Downtown Matt Biretz.
The Hyatt Place Downtown has been sold out for a while, with nearly ninety-percent of the rooms going to wrestling fans who booked almost a year in advance.
That means the hotel had to turn away couples who called for a last-minute Valentine’s Day getaway, but business is business.
“From a business stand point being sold out is great, it`s better for us then having a one night stay so having people come in and stay for the whole event absolutely helps our business,” says Biretz.
Restaurants in town are also seeing big crowds. Buzzard Billy’s is packed and plans to serve wrestling fans and couples all day and night.
“We got wrestlers in here and we got lovers in here and we got lovers wrestling and wrestlers loving, so I think the two things go hand in hand in that everyone is having a good time,” says Owner of Buzzard Billy’s J.D. Burkley.
For some deciding whether to watch a match or go out for a nice dinner is tough.
“It’s kinda bad timing for me because as much as I’d like to watch the 2A tonight, I should probably take my wife out for dinner tonight, and kind of jammed with a lot of people in town so that`s a little rough,” says Paul Williams of Des Moines.
However, for some it’s not even a question, couples booked well in advance to get a table at Splash Seafood Bar and Grill, which is catering to the Valentine’s Day crowd tonight. They’re hoping to catch the wrestlers this weekend.
“It`s great that Valentine`s is on a Thursday and not a Friday or Saturday this year, we always like that get an extra real busy day in with the week but anytime you can bring twenty to thirty-thousand people downtown it`s awesome,” says General Manager of Splash Seafood Bar and Grill Mike Holms.
All the other major hotels downtown are also all booked for the extended weekend with mostly wrestling fans.
Restaurants we spoke to recommend calling ahead to try to cut down on your wait time if you venture out for dinner this evening.