Local businesses share in success of Bayou Country Superfest

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POSTED: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 7:45pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 7:49pm

As much as businesses near Tiger Stadium love fall Saturdays, they say they dread summer weekends. All except Memorial Day Weekend, that is.

Bayou Country Superfest has provided a welcome jolt to their bottom lines each of the last few years.

"Typically," said Ralph Ney, the general manager of the Embassy Suites hotel off College Drive, "Memorial Day Weekend was very slow. Almost like a holiday for our workers."

Now, it's a holiday for store owners. Bayou Country Superfest attracts nearly the same size crowd as LSU would draw for an SEC game.

"It's just like having a home game," said Norbert Weinert of Pluckers. "It's people in and out all day."

"It's insane in here," agreed Paige Saltzman of Walk-Ons. "It's basically like a game day, like a home game day. And there's crowds of people everywhere in cowboy hats and boots, so it's a lot of fun, though."

Stores of all types say they benefit from the festival, but restaurants and hotels seem to make out best. Some claim their revenue increases by as much as 25 percent compared to a normal weekend.

Workers say they share in that success.

"Everybody wants to work because you make really good money on those days," Saltzman said.

Convenience stores say they do not take in quite as much money as they would from a football game, because there is less tailgating, but they like Bayou Country Superfest for a different reason.

"It's more of a family atmosphere more than the fan atmosphere," said Donna Bell of Cracker Barrel, "and it's a whole lot less stressful."

Stress in unavoidable for restaurant workers when they have so many more people to serve. But they say stress is actually a benefit until they can count up their tips at the end of the weekend.

"The shift goes by, there's always something to do," said Weinert. "We're constantly running around; it just makes everything better."

Bars in the neighborhood said much of their business comes after the final performance each night. They claim people come in and order a drink as a way to let traffic clear before they drive home.

For the list of artists slated to perform at Bayou Country Superfest in May, 2013, click here.

For ticket information, click here.

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