Local businesses suffer because of lack of Veishea visitors


Photo: Huiling Wu/Iowa State Daily

The affects of canceling Veishea are starting to ripple through the restaurants and bars in Ames. 

Kelsey Batschelet

The effects of canceling Veishea are starting to ripple through the restaurants and bars in Ames. 

“There’s been a decline in business and excitement,” said Mike Roberts, co-owner of Charlie Yokes.

Veishea attracts a significant number of tourists, and the business that is generated by the event is vital to local establishments. Ames businesses are already seeing the effects of the cancellation of Veishea on their sales. 

The Campustown district, which is a favorite spot for visiting alumni, is experiencing a significant decline in sales compared to past years during Veishea. 

“All of our business owners are affected by the cancellation,” said Kim Hanna, Campustown Action Association director. “We get a lot of alumni that come back into the district to go out to dinner and go shopping.”

Now many alumni, who make up a large number of the out-of-town visitors during Veishea, are no longer planning on coming to Ames this weekend, Hanna said. 

The Campustown district relies on student business during the academic year. Veishea week usually generates the bulk of the sales that the district’s businesses need to operate throughout the summer months when students are gone. 

“The bars and businesses around Campustown really need Veishea. It usually pays for the summer,” Roberts said. 

Without those sales some bars are considering changing their hours in order to operate longer. Roberts said that bar-goers may also see an increase in the price for door covers and drinks as businesses need to make up for the money lost. 

“If I were to guess, I’d say that from previous years all the bars are looking at a $30,000 loss,” Roberts said.

Though the official Veishea activities have been canceled, many business owners expect that students will still come out to Campustown.

“Veishea activities off-campus have not necessarily ended,” Hanna said.

Students who no longer are able to participate in on-campus activities may go to other areas of Ames to unofficially celebrate Veishea. 

“Without Veishea activities people may say ‘hey, lets drink,'” Roberts said. 

The off-campus activities are likely to help lessen the economic impact of the cancellation of Veishea on local businesses. Sips, a Campustown bar located at 124 Welch Ave., is advertising events such as “Unofficial Veishea Mug Night” to attract people who are still interested in celebrating Veishea. 

Though many of the people who were planning on coming to Ames for the weekend are canceling their plans, there will still be larger than usual crowds in the community. 

“We’re monitoring social media,” Hanna said. “It seems like there’s definitely people still coming.” 

Dan Culhane, president and CEO of Ames Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Commission, said that Ames was fortunate to be a host to Iowa State and the business that it generates for the community. 

“There are a number of events around the calendar and throughout the year that provide tremendous economic impact to Ames’ business and business community,” Culhane said. 

Campustown establishments attract business throughout the year from other University events, but Veishea is often one of the largest events for them. The economic impact of calling off Veishea will be felt in most bars and restaurants in Ames. 

“Now we gotta make everything that we can,” Roberts said.