Businesses prepare for busy weekend in Iowa City

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 5:05 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Businesses in the Iowa City area are preparing for the biggest crowds so far this season with the Penn State at Iowa football game Saturday afternoon.

Nick Pfeiffer with Think Iowa City said an average football weekend brings in $16-$20 million of revenue to the community. This weekend, they’re expecting even more. Pfeiffer said all the hotels in the area are nearly sold out, and the remaining vacant rooms are going for very high rates.

With the Iowa Hawkeyes ranked third, and Penn State ranked fourth. the Convention and Visitors Bureau has been prepping hotels and other businesses for the maximum capacity.

“Making sure that they have all that they need to know about the schedule of the weekend, anything that’s going on. People are here for the football game, but what can they do on Friday night when they’re here,” said Pfeiffer.

Hawkeye Hotels manages several area hotels and has been preparing the staff for busy a weekend. Senior Development Manager Samir Patel said weekends like this mean that much more after the impact COVID restrictions had on businesses last year.

“This season we’ve seen a huge uptick in guests coming to stay, with the Hawks doing as well as they are this year,” said Patel.

Pfeiffer adds that they plan to see over $20 million come in from this weekend and next weekend for homecoming.

“That economic impact is so valuable to us. We really felt the loss last year,” he said. “That type of impact to the community spreads from hotels to restaurants, to gas stations, to grocery stores.”

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