Michiana businesses feel economic impact from RedBud

RedBud has taken over the town of Buchanan for another year, bringing in thousands of people from all over the country.

Friday, thousands surround the track cheering on family and friends as riders raced their way around the pro track, and many Michiana businesses are more than happy to have them.

“I hear a lot of retailers tell us this is their second Christmas, so I know it's a big deal and we are happy that it helps them out,” says track owner, Amy Ritchie.

“A lot of people coming in, big campers buying a whole bunch of gas and mostly its gas and drinks and chips and cigarettes,” says Pri-Mart Citgo cashier, Kim Zebell.

Kim says she sells ice and drinks the most, but how much do sales increase?

“You get probably 200 people in a day, RedBud weekend you are probably getting 500 in a day,” says Zebell.

Hotels aren't doing too bad either. The Hilton Garden Inn, in South Bend, was booked weeks ago.

“They have been staying with us since we opened five years ago and this is one of those weekends we can count on every year to be sold out and know that this business is coming in without fail,” says general manager, Brooke Gallagher.

Not all Buchanan businesses are feeling the impact. In fact, some say they don't see RedBud crowds in the downtown area at all.

“Ultimately, they don't stay downtown at all, they kind of go right through, down RedBud and camp out there all weekend and they are in and out,” says Gustavsen employee, Caitlin Dippo.

“It would be nice if they would come downtown and the businesses, I am sure would love that, but at this point its maybe just expected that they don't”.

Whether they come downtown or not, you know they are in town because of the traffic.

“Trying to cross RedBud from any side street, you know, if there is no light there, your almost out of luck. You have to find a different way because there is just no way,” adds Dippo.

Even the crazy traffic can’t stop people from coming to Buchanan to participate in one of the biggest events of the year.


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