Cadott, WI (WEAU) -- While there's a lot of action taking place on the Country Fest grounds, it's no surprise the surrounding area is seeing an increase in visitors as well.
Country fest draws thousands of people, many coming to watch their favorite artist perform, but all of this traffic means more than just fun to many of the area businesses in Cadott.
Dewayne Sloviak, the owner of Countryside Motel says Country Fest means return customers for his business. Slovak says, "We have a pretty good crowd here. A lot of repeats, about 90% of them have been before at one time or another. Some of them have been here for years; they just keep coming back every year."
Sloviak says Country Fest brings in quite a bit of business, not just for hotels in Cadott, but to many places in the Chippewa Valley. Sloviak says, "They just keep going further away. If Chippewa is full, and Thorp and Stanley are full, they start going to Eau Claire. Some go as far as Osseo."
Soloviak says most rooms are booked months in advance. He says, “A majority of the time they're booked back in January, we have a four day minimum to book a room."
And, once visitors finally arrive Sloviak says they'll bring traffic in to other local businesses. Sloviak says, "A lot of these people here will go thrift shopping in the morning, or get some breakfast."
Kathy Reed says Kathy's Diner is one of the places many Country Festers stop to have a meal.
Reed says these four days are some of the restaurant's busiest times, with her taking on three times the staff. Reed says the diner has to prepare for the rush by ordering more fresh food and produce to meet the demand.
Reed says, "So, when they come in we can get them in and out as fast as we can because they want to get back to the music!"
But, Reed says all the extra work is more than worth it. Reed says, “I love people, and I love to cook. When they tell me, “This tastes just like my Grandma made!” I’m like, “Yes! That’s what it’s all about!”
And, local businesses say the publicity they get from Country Fest doesn't end here, but continues year round. Many area businesses say the visitors that come during Country Fest come back later in the year for vacations or day trips.