The festivities surrounding the Rose Bowl college football game – in particular, the Wisconsin pep rally that brought out more than 25,000 Badger fans – helped drive business up 30 percent for at least one local business, according to an employee.
That business is The Lobster restaurant, and according to Lynne Thomas, director of sales and marketing, the increase was “for the whole week” leading up to the game.
Hotels also fared well. “Santa Monica hotels have benefited for many years from the Rose Bowl game by completing contract bookings with tour operators,” said Bill Doak, general manager of the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel.
Doak further pointed out the coordinated efforts of the Santa Monica Conventions and City Visitors Bureau and Pier, Pacific Park and City agencies to plan unique activities such as the pep rallies that “deliver sustainable community-wide benefits beyond the scope of a single event [the Rose Bowl].”
For Bayside District Corp. CEO Kathleen Rawson, just seeing the “the sea of red” – Wisconsin Badgers fans – meant the “New Year’s holiday was not only good for business but a healthy reminder of what an important and substantial impact these types of sporting groups bring to our community.”
Unfortunately for Wisconsin fans, they lost to their opponent Texas Christian University by a narrow 19-21.