The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is more than halfway over. Every day for nearly three weeks thousands of people flood Reliant Arena for the carnival, rodeo activities and the concerts at night. But what impact does the large crowd each night have on nearby businesses? Bill Stamps headed over there to find out.
During the day you’re likely see hundreds of children at Reliant arena...many are on school field trips or come with their day care center.
At night a good concert can bring in as many fans as a Texans Football game. You would think all these extra people walking around in the area would be good for nearby business right? Well think again. Alan Roland owns Paparrazi’s Gourment Popcorn..just across the street from Reliant Stadium. He says the Rodeo is bad for business.
"Because the customers are going to the rodeo and our customers do not like fighting traffic to get here. "
Even though lots of people park down the street and have to pass his business, he says few of them ever make it inside. And since they block off the street in front of the strip mall, his regular customers often stay home during rodeo time.
"The ones who do come here they complain and say it took me an hour to get here or the road was blocked off or whatever."
Cindy Tang can relate the problem. Her nail and spa business is next door. Her reaction to the rodeo is about the same as Roland’s.
"A lot of people avoid this place in the evening cause of the traffic. Too much traffic, they can’t get here cause all the road is blocked."
But not every business has a sad rodeo story to tell. It appears the type of business and what you sell can make a difference. For example, say there’s a band playing that night and many of the fans are planning to dance and have a good time. But they don’t’ want to pay the higher prices at the rodeo. They may stop by places like Bayou City Pizza and Hot Wings first. The manager Gloria says it happens all the time.
"The crowd comes in. And now we’ve got free beer and more crowd comes in. They eat here then they’ll go and when they get out they’ll eat."
For better or for worse — which depends on who you talk to — the rodeo will come to an end next weekend.