Fans are ramping up for the big face-off at Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, meanwhile small businesses in Dallas, where the game will be played this year, have been battling a tough opponent of their own—the snow.
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Local businesses in the Lone-Star-State city have been preparing for an expected uptick in customers over the Super Bowl XLV weekend, but with flights canceled across the country – at least 1,250 flights to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport have been canceled this week, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware -- and the city frozen under a sheet of ice, will the consumers actually show?
Super Bowls in the past have not been immune to weather bugs. The last time weather played a major factor in the Super Bowl was when heavy snow hit Detroit in 2006, the year the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks. And then in 2007 rain poured down in South Florida, causing some ticket holders to skip out at halftime and watch the game in con c ourses on T.V., when the Indianapolis Colts won against the Chicago Bears.
Despite the questionable effects Mother Nature may have on the fans getting to the city for game time, Pricewaterhouse Coopers estimates a record $202 million will be directly injected into the Dallas economy from this year’s game. In 2010 in Miami , $153 million funneled into the local economy from the Super Bowl when the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts. The previous spending record was $195 million in the Miami area for the 2007 game, when the Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears, making Peyton Manning a Hall of Fame Quarterback and defining his legacy.
Corinthian Bed & Breakfast in Dallas has been ramping up for the Super Bowl, extending about $1,000 extra on marketing for the big game, according to manager Dan Tucker. The boutique hotel, which has been in business for nearly eight years, is offering gift packages of wine and cheese, along with fruit baskets, to its expected clientele. Super Bowl 2011 T-shirts will also be available.
Tucker said the phone was ringing a bit more than usual until Tuesday night’s storm, which hit nearly 30 states across the country and cooled down the Texas city ’s typically warm winter.
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“When the weather hit, the phone slowed down,” he said.
Three of the hotel’s five guest rooms are currently booked, and Tucker said he is hopeful the other two will fill up in time for the game. If not, he plans to reduce the room rates by about 20% or drop the minimum stay from three nights to two.
“I think perhaps less people will come, because they simply can’t get here and haven’t been able to get here,” he said.
Bread Winners Café & Bakery in Dallas is typically jam-packed every weekend for breakfast and brunch, according to owner Jim Hughes. The hot spot has been awarded “Best Brunch” in the city for the past 12 years. However, 50 % of its seating is outdoors, and with the snow and unseasonably cold weather, the café won’t be able to accommodate as many hungry fans as it would like, he said.
“From Friday to Sunday, we are usually a zoo regardless of the temperature,” Hughes said. “If you were to ask any concierge in the downtown Dallas area where to go for breakfast, they would say here. But it’s what we can do within our own four walls. It becomes hard to seat anyone else besides what we can do inside.”
Nonetheless, the café is preparing different menus for the expected crowds, and has done a bit more extra local advertising than usual.
“I think the customers will come, but it’s just not as opportunistic to get the sales because of the weather,” he said.