All-Star events boosted sales for some, left others wanting more

  • Article by: ROCHELLE OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 17, 2014 - 9:08 AM
hide

The fly over during Tuesday night All Star Game at Target Field July 15, 2014 in Minneapolis, MN.

It’s all over but the accounting for restaurants and hotels now that the All-Star entourages and fans have left town and the national sports spotlight has shifted away from Minneapolis.

On Wednesday, as city businesses swept up and counted receipts, they pondered a pivotal question: Was it all they’d hoped for?

It’ll be a while before solid numbers are in, but most businesses were able to offer preliminary assessments.

For Peter Killen, owner of Kieran’s Irish Pub near Target Field and The Local on Nicollet Mall, Tuesday night “was like St. Patrick’s Day; I want another one next year.”

But for Jon Jacklin, general manager at Smack Shack at 603 Washington Av. N., there was some disappointment. “Typically, we’re on a wait, and I had open tables all night,” he said, wondering if worries about traffic and parking might have discouraged diners from visiting the popular seafood spot.

Restaurateurs’ uneven economic assessments were not echoed by hotels, which claimed strong bookings Sunday through Tuesday despite the higher rates they charged.

Location mattered greatly. Downtown hotels and bars close to Target Field seemed generally thrilled with the All-Star boost, while other parts of town reported mixed results.

Baseball tourists started arriving in force on Sunday and generally stayed through the game Tuesday night, even if it meant paying top dollar.

Dan McElroy, president and CEO of Hospitality Minnesota, said downtown rooms were going for about $300 a night, with late-booking fans paying more than double that. Because most All-Star fans booked lodging downtown, the suburbs benefited from spillover business, he said.

“This was not an inexpensive week in Minneapolis,” McElroy said. “So it was good for the whole region.”

At luxury hotels, such as the W and Le Meridien Chambers, one-person rooms went for upwards of $700, general manager Susan Mabry said. The two hotels’ combined 300 rooms were full for the main three nights of All-Star festivities. “It’s been so smooth,” Mabry said. “I want to have MLB week every single day of the year.”

Culinary star Isaac Becker was among those with uneven receipts at his popular restaurants. Bar La Grassa and 112 Eatery, both downtown, were quieter than he expected. But the newer Burch at 1934 Hennepin Av. S., on the edge of Uptown, did a brisk business — even though it’s typically quieter when the Twins are in town. Overall, he said, “the weekend was great, and I like baseball.”

Scott Larson, general manager of the Freehouse, 701 Washington Av. N., stopped short of saying he was disappointed with business, but said he fears that “some guests may have thought they were being encouraged to stay away because traffic and parking would be difficult.”

Peter Botcher, owner of Butcher & the Boar, 1121 Hennepin Av. S., said the popular restaurant continued its hot streak. “We did good numbers [Tuesday] night,” he said. “We’re in a good location.”

The receipts were even better inside Target Field, where Butcher & the Boar sells shots of bourbon and beef tips dripping in sauce. Sales were three to four times as high as they are for regular Twins games. “They even stood in the rain for them,” Botcher said of the juicy tips.

Abbie Snell, events and marketing manager at Hubert’s, inside Target Center and just off Target Plaza, couldn’t have been happier. Visitors seemed to have taken seriously the chalkboard sign outside the bar that read: “No trip to Target Field is complete without a stop at Hubert’s.”

The sports bar usually packs them in before and after games, but All-Star events brought steady crowds all day and even during the events on the field. “We were surprised by how many people came and stayed to watch the games,” she said, adding that Sunday through Tuesday were “the busiest we’ll be all year.”

Snell said she and many others found the baseball tourists likable. “They said so many nice things about Minneapolis,” she said.

Killen, of Kieran’s, reported that “everybody was in a good mood.”

Minneapolis police seemed to agree. Their recap of the event involved no major problems requiring response from the heavily staffed downtown command center, which had 200 cameras trained on spots throughout the city. “We didn’t have officers responding to a lot of calls,” spokesman John Elder said.

Killen said he’s ready for more big events, and he will get them. The Ryder Cup comes to Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska in 2016. And then there’s the Super Bowl in 2018.

“Let’s bring on the next one,” he said.

 

  • related content

  • Extended Minneapolis bar hours a hit with fans

    Wednesday July 16, 2014

    Just before 4 a.m. closing time Wednesday, a worker at the FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar in downtown Minneapolis...

  • In St. Paul, a quiet start to budget season

    Thursday July 17, 2014

    Only 15 people showed up at mayor’s first public budget meeting.

  • Those that waited out the rain delay were treated to a beautiful rainbow as Twins Brian Dozier took the plate in the Home Run Derby at Target Field. ] 2014 MLB All Star Game, Target Field BRIAN PETERSON ‘Ä¢ brian.peterson@startribune.com Minneapolis, MN 07/14/2014

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Washington 102 FINAL
New York 91
Oklahoma City 114 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Cleveland 91 FINAL
Miami 101
LA Lakers 93 FINAL
Chicago 113
Golden State 86 FINAL
LA Clippers 100
DePaul 69 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 72
Ohio 58 FINAL
Nebraska 71
Colorado 66 FINAL
Hawaii 69
George Washington 60 FINAL
Wichita State 54
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Twins' offseason moves so far?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close