Breckenridge’s Oktoberfest impacts local businesses
This past weekend throngs of revelers donned their finest lederhosen, dirndl dresses and alpine hats to celebrate the 21st annual Breckenridge Oktoberfest. While crowds packed Main Street to enjoy ale and German food, did their presence filter into local businesses?
Ashley Dempsey, owner of The Shirt Shop, didn’t notice an impact on sales.
“Yesterday (Friday) was pretty slow,” she said. “It was mostly just people going to Oktoberfest.”
Overall, Dempsey saw some value to the event.
“It brought people to town,” she said. “Otherwise people might be doing other stuff for the weekend.”
Christian Grant, bartender at Oscar’s of Breckenridge, noted the blockage of Main Street reduced their clientele.
“Business is slower than it typically is,” he noted. “It would be nice if they included more of Main Street and relaxed the sign laws, so we could advertise.”
Jodi Henderson, waitress at the Gold Pan, hustled food out to hungry patrons.
“We definitely got a lot of traffic,” she said. “ It’s been busy but not overwhelming.
At the Goods Boutique, sales associate AnnaLisa Farrel, said some of the attire was questionable.
“Some girls in the dirndl dresses look too provocative for our wholesome town,” she joked.
Fellow sales associate, Nicole Reed, said the event had a positive impact on their bottom line.
“We doubled our goal yesterday,” she said. “It’s not like the pro challenge, they didn’t spend any money.”
Jennifer Meltzer, owner of The Mountain Goat Clothing Company, was pleasantly surprised by the turnout.
“I think people would be in town, but not as many,” she said. “At 9:30 this morning people were on the street.”
Maggie Pocotte, manager at Peak A Boo Toys, said the event doesn’t draw her stores optimal crowd.
“They don’t bring their kids with them,” she said.
She noted that sometimes people purchase items for the kids they left at home.
Tim Trevino, sales associate at Skinny Winter, said sales have been brisk.
“I enjoy it personally as a local,” he said. “Business wise I think my boss would say the same thing.”
Trevino, who also resides on Main Street, said Oktoberfest offers unique challenges.
“The urine content in the alley is going up every year,” he said.
Monique Burdine, manager at 129 South Activewear, said while the impact on her business wasn’t significant the crowds were pleasant.
“Everyone’s a lot more friendlier when they are drinking,” she said.
“Business wise it’s not really good, just a lot of people hanging outside.”
Bill Feest, manager and buyer at the Main Street Outlet, said the bright sunshine doesn’t lure as many people into the store.
“If it was cold and rainy we’d be busier,” he said.
Feest said the event is very well managed
“I think the town does a good job of keeping it under control,” he opined.
Danny Badwan, owner of Breckenridge Jewelers, welcomed the sunshine.
“We love it especially when the weather is nice,” he shared. “It’s a very vibrant crowd which has always been good for our business.”
Some attendees were excited to peruse the local stores.
CJ Horn and Victoria Cabral made the trek from Denver and after a few steins and some bratwurst were ready to explore.
“We’re going to shop our way around Main Street,” he said.
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