Country Jam brings big boost for local businesses

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Every day the Americinn has been getting calls about reservation requests for this weekend. But for the last couple months, the answer has always been the same.

"People that have stayed here in the past that are regulars know don't wait until May of this year to get a room, for this year," said Scott Watts, the Front Desk Manager at the Americinn.

The hotel is booked solid.

"If they're smart when they check out on Sunday, they're probably making their reservation for next year," he said.

It is a big boost in business one weekend out of the year. And that is for hotels across the board.

"We just did a reach out to hotels this week to see how everyone is doing, and for Saturday night, that appears to be the busiest night we have so far, less than 200 rooms available in town," said Michael Strubel, the Events Director for Visit Eau Claire.

He estimates about 75% of people who come to jam from out of town stay in a hotel.

He says they spend about 26% of their money on lodging, another 25% on restaurants, and the rest on shopping, attractions, and transportation.

At the Menomonie Street Dairy Queen, just down the road from Country Jam, business has been sizzling and not just because of the weather.

"Our ice cream machines get almost overworked, they get so much business," said Manny Emery who works at the Menomonie Street Dairy Queen.

He says dilly bars are the hot seller.

"We've actually had to call in extra help in the morning to get dilly bars made," he said.

He says they see a spike in sales every year. But DQ is not the only way to cool down at Country Jam, you could try pink lemonade.

Alexandra Lawrence is banking on thousands of people being in her neighborhood as a way to make a few bucks at her lemonade stand.

She had made $4 as of this evening and had five customers.

"We're going to give some of it to the animal shelter," she said.

It may not buy much yet, but at least she has got the right idea.

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