Drake Relays Brings Much-Needed Boost to Local Businesses

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Saturday was the final day of the Drake Relays, but the track and field competition left a big impact on some local businesses this week.

Catch Des Moines said that despite limited ticket sales at this year’s Drake Relays, the past three days have been good for businesses near the university. The owner of Dough Co. Pizza said it’s been his best week of the year, with sales up 25%-35%. Hotels and restaurants citywide also saw a boost. Still, it’s not enough to make up from a year of shutdowns and slowdowns.

“It’s going to be a slow comeback. It is going to be a little bit better than last year, especially this second half of the year. I think we’re not going to really see true numbers like we saw back in 2019 until maybe 2022 or even into 2023,” said Greg Edwards, president and CEO of Catch Des Moines.

Catch Des Moines anticipates local businesses will see more revenue as more events take place this summer.

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