Holiday crowds boost downtown Baton Rouge businesses

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Huge holidays crowds are helping local businesses that have been dealing with economic downfall from the pandemic.

Baton Rouge businesses say it felt like old times trying to meet the huge demand.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, Schlittz and Giggles said they made about $1,200 per hour. The pizza by the slice company kept the dough spinning, cashing in big.

“They were waiting 30 minutes to come inside and order and then another 30 to 45 minutes for their pizza,” said manager Samantha Hughey.

The huge crowds are something downtown businesses haven’t seen in a while.

“It was three times as busy on a normal Saturday night for us. We thought we were ready, but we were not ready for the July fourth crowd at all,” said Hughey.

Business owners said the heavy foot traffic allowed them to make bank during a time when their bottom line is still recovering.

“Until people are actually downtown and given a reason to be downtown outside of some of the things I named, I think it’s amazing that that foot traffic allows people to explore,” said owner of Geaux Ride Charles Daniel.

Restaurants and bars aside, places like the biking company Geaux Ride said more people are rolling in their doors.

“A lot of people just walked up and said, ‘hey I want to rent a bike,’ got information, they came and took pictures and just that energy felt good,” said Daniel.

They said seeing the huge crowds is a sign that business is back.

“Of course that’s due to the Covid restrictions being lifted,” said Hughey.

And the road to recovery is coming to an end.

“It’s a return to the vibrancy of Third Street, Main Street and everything that is the downtown area,” said Daniel.

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