By JOHN KLINE
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Everyone knows that the Super Bowl is a great excuse to get together with friends and have a fiesta while cheering on favorite teams. But apart from fun, what else does the Super Bowl and similar events bring to a community? What effect does it have on the economy, if any?
Just before the big game Sunday, local restaurant and store managers were asked that question.
“You know, from as far back as I can remember, the day of the Super Bowl is when everybody got together, friends, family, food, drinks, everybody enjoying the time they got to spend with each other. And if you happened to choose an establishment in which to do that — which a lot of people do — all the better, because it helps them out too,” said Robert Pernokis, bartender at Miranda’s Cafe and Grill on Lincolnway East. “Today, you kind of see a mix of people choosing to either go out to a bar or restaurant to watch the game or to stay in and have their own party. But right now, I think people are wanting to go out and do something. The weather has been kind of keeping everybody in, and this is that one time where everybody’s wanting to do something. So they’re trying to get out, and that’s great for local businesses who cater to that type of thing — the restaurants and the bars, the grocery stores and liquor stores, all of them. It’s good for everybody.”
Chad Faulkner, manager of Ponderosa Steakhouse, also on Lincolnway East, agreed.
“I see events like the Super Bowl as a really good thing,” Faulkner said. “It definitely brings in business. Everybody wants to watch the Super Bowl, so they want the wings, they want the finger food and all that good stuff, and that’s great for local businesses like us that provide those things. I personally don’t watch the Super Bowl, but there’s no question it’s a good thing for the economy and local business.”
Down the road at Double D’s, bar owner Dennis McCarthy was gearing up for the game early Sunday afternoon.
“Oh yeah, the Super Bowl brings people out,” McCarthy said. “You know, I think a lot of people these days throw their own parties, so we may not see as many people as we used to. But it still makes for kind of that fun extra day, that bonus day, and gives people a reason to head out and have some fun. And on a national scale, it’s got to be great for the economy with all the extra sales of T-shirts and sports memorabilia and all the advertising and commercials. And of course, anything that gets people moving and spending money is a good thing.”
Whether you’re planning to stay in or looking for a place more social to watch the game, either is fine for the folks at Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar off of Rieth Boulevard in Goshen, according to restaurant manager Keegan Zoll.
“The Super Bowl definitely brings people out,’ Zoll said. “We get a lot of to-go orders for people doing their own thing, because people have house parties and things like that, and then we’ve also got people coming in to watch the game here. Today we’ll probably have a mix of both people coming in and people ordering to-go, but it should be a good night (for sales) either way. So yeah, I think it’s definitely a good thing for the economy.”
Brian Lehman, longtime employee of Chalet Party Shoppe in the Chicago-Pike Plaza, was a bit less enthused about the whole Super Bowl phenomenon than some of the others. Even so, he admitted that such large and much-celebrated events can put a bit of a kick in people’s usual buying habits.
“I haven’t really seen a big increase in business,” Lehman said. “We’ve had some lines, but we can get them out of here pretty quick. But I wouldn’t really say it makes a huge impact. Maybe a little bit. Like maybe someone who might normally buy a 12-pack (of beer), they might come in before the Super Bowl and buy a case, because maybe they’ve got friends coming over for the game. Or maybe they got started a little early, and around 11 p.m. (Saturday) they realize that they’re out and they need to restock before Sunday. So it all just depends on how people are feeling and what their plans are. But I definitely wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing.”