Show-Me State Games bring moderate business spike to Columbia

Restaurant owners told KRCG 13 Saturday this year's Show-Me State Games have increased their business about as much as it has in years past.

Yogoluv owner Kerry Chao said his sales this weekend are up by about 20 percent compared to a normal weekend in the summer. He said this is typical whenever the Games come to town. Chao said it is not fair to compare his store's performance during the Games' weekend to a football weekend because his store is usually closed during peak times after an evening game.

Across town at Subzone, co-owner Josh Markovich said his store was catering to the Games. He said he and his employees put together about 164 prebagged lunches Saturday morning, with at least another 80 on order for Sunday. During the Show-Me Senior Games and Show-Me State Mid-America Games in June, he said his restaurant put together about 550 such lunches in total. Markovich said his store has only been open since November, but so far his foot traffic has not changed.

Down the street from Subzone, Gumby's Pizza shift manager Joe Waner said much of his restaurant's business during the Games comes from hotel orders. He said the number of orders placed goes up every year and credits advertising in hotel materials with bringing in out-of-town customers.

At the Tiger Spirit store downtown, John Kiely was taking his Liberty, Mo.-based girls' basketball team shopping after racking up two victories in their class so far. He said many of the girls' parents are MU alums or Tigers fans, so the team always enjoys coming to Columbia. Kiely said the team had already eaten at several Columbia-area restaurants including Shakespeare's and Booches.

"These are sixth-grade girls, so they love to shop and they love to eat out, so I'm sure we're having a profound impact on the local economy," he said.

Show-Me State Games officials have estimated the event adds $15 million to Columbia's economy each year.