Yakima, WASH.--First Friday, Fresh Hop Ale Fest, and the Pirate Plunder Adventure Race had Yakima buzzing over the weekend, bringing in a nice flow of cash for local businesses.
The Fresh Hop Ale Festival on Saturday had nearly 4,000 people, and 80 percent of that crowd was from out of state. The Yakima Valley Sports Commission said the Pirate Plunder Obstacle Race was a success, attracting around a 1,000 people.
The Hilton Garden Inn was completely full Saturday, and the Red Lion Hotel was almost at capacity. Other local businesses said these events also gave them a big boost in sales.
"Before and after the festival of course we have people that are staying at the local hotels," said Allied Arts Executive Director Michael Liddicoat. "We got people that after they leave went down to Second Street Grill, Sports Center, and some of the other local restaurants down there."
Travis Heitman, the owner of Sports Center said, "It was crazy. We had people every night at capacity, all the way full."
"We're keeping pretty busy," said David Middleton, the General Manager of Tony's Steakhouse. "We actually did pretty well on Saturday with the Hop Fest, and also the Pirate Plunder."
Local business owners said big events like these are crucial for keeping Yakima's economy going.
"I want to see something like maybe a "Taste of Yakima" that we could possibly do, but any kind of event that we would could bring in and show what downtown has to offer, the more the better," said Heitman.
"We've got stories from our patrons that just love the sunshine that we usually have on the day," said Liddicoat. "They love the experience that they get to have when they come to the festival, and then they kind of hang around on Sunday and see what else there is that Yakima has to offer."
The General Manager of Gilbert Cellars, Jessica Moskwa, said, "They get to see what else our town has to offer, and they can maybe say hey next time let's come back and do a wine weekend or let's come back and do a hiking weekend. Let's come back to this community because we had a really good experience here."
Managers said that big events aren't only good for sales, they're also good for boosting Yakima's image.
They said a lot of people from out of town came here, had a good time, and they'll go on to tell their friends that Yakima is a good destination.