- The Hodag Country Fest draws a lot of music fans to the Northwoods and that means a lot of customers for local businesses.
The Hideout Steakhouse Marketing Manager Sharon Cline says, "We have been extremely busy. Busier than last year. Probably double to what we had last year. So at least close to probably a thousand people."
Businesses like The Hideout Steakhouse wait all year for the Hodag Country Music Festival. While the country music stars create quite a stir in town, it's the spectators they draw that interest businesses.
"We have a lot of people coming in. We're selling cigarettes, lots of beverages. It's been humid, hot. People are dying out there and we're just selling everything," says Hodag Pump & Pantry's Marty Niemuth.
Both businesses say their close proximity to the festival grounds help them to draw in customers. But for the steakhouse, it's also all about advertising their specials.
Cline says, "We also put out signs, advertise in the paper, and just by local word and from the years of people coming here, word of mouth gets around."
At the Hodag Pump & Pantry, Hodag Country Fest-goers cleared some of the shelves. That means big money for the local business.
Niemuth says, "We probably put about five to six grand in each [of the cash registers]."
And that was only within a four-hour window. Customers waited in a line that stretched from the cash register at one end of the store all the way to the other end by the coolers.
The Pump & Pantry has "been busy. [We have our] backs against the wall, working as hard as we can and [there's] lots of money to be made," says Niemuth.
"We're very, very happy that Hodag Country Fest has been here for the amount of years that they have because we wouldn't have this kind of business this weekend if it wasn't for them," says Cline.
Now businesses will have to wait another year for this money-making fest, but employees are no doubt relieved to see the crowds die down.
|Story By: Lauren Stephenson