March Madness means mad sales for local businesses

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – For some businesses, spring break is a slow time for sales. For others, it is a busy time. As the women’s NCAA tournament wraps up its stay in West Lafayette, whether a business is used to being slow or busy, some managers told News 18 they are seeing the positive impact of March Madness.

Purdue students were back in class Monday after being off last week for Spring Break. Restaurants around campus usually see fewer sales when students are gone.

Jake’s Roadhouse manager Jose Fogleman expected to be busy Monday night as thousands of students got back into the swing of the school week, and enjoyed a few NCAA tournament games.

“We’re going to have more students back in town,” Fogleman said. “I think there is a little bit more excitement once the tournament gets closer and closer. Since it’s here in West Lafayette, I think we’ll have a good showing of alumni and older people coming to see the games.”

However, Fogleman does not have to make up as many sales as usual the week after Spring Break. He said since West Lafayette hosted the women’s NCAA tournament business has been more steady for this time of year.

“We had a lot of people from out of town who do not know where to go [to eat],” Fogleman said. “So, since this is a sports bar a lot of people will come here first.”

Its indoor water park makes Lafayette’s Best Western hotel a spring break destination, keeping staff busy. It became even more busy this weekend as one of the teams playing at Mackey Arena, Florida Gulf Coast, stayed at the hotel.

“The original block was for 30 rooms, but then we ended up seeing about 74 rooms out of it,” said Alissa Morlan, Best Western director of sales.

Morlan said the extra reservations caused the hotel to be booked the whole weekend.

Fogleman expects momentum from the first week of the men’s and women’s tournaments to continue, and expects big crowds to come in and watch the rest of the games on television.

Morlan said staff at the hotel will remain busy for spring break for another three weeks, then they’re gearing up for football season.

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