Courting Hill Climb customers

Visitors to annual event likely to increase weekend sales

POSTED: 07:56 PM MDT Jun 28, 2013 
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Local merchants say summer business has been great, but the upcoming Pikes Peak Hill Climb could make the season even better.

The weekend event will increase traffic on U.S. 24 between downtown and the Pikes Peak Highway.  Business owners along that stretch are hopeful that drivers will stop in and spend money, instead of passing by.

"It definitely brings a lot of attention to this side of town," said Anna Bentley, a manager at Rudy's Barbecue.  "It's great for the West Side.  We even have a group of 300 coming in after the event is over."

The event is new for the staff of the Colorado Mountain Brewery.  The restaurant opened just after last year's Hill Climb.

"This will be a learning experience for us," said Tyler Sherman, director of operations.  "We expect a lot of traffic.  We're prepared for it."

Sherman believed the event was a factor in his lunch business being busier than normal for a Friday.

While many businesses will have extra staff working for the weekend, the Borriello Brothers pizza shop has a different strategy.

"I don't always staff-up," said Ryan Lomax, the general manager.  "But we can pull resources from our other stores if we see an increase in sales."