Lincoln businesses prepare for big crowds from NHSFR visitors

Published: Jul. 17, 2021 at 10:32 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Thousands of visitors from all over the U.S., Canada and Mexico are in the Capital City for the National High School Finals Rodeo. Businesses are now preparing for the possibility of a busy week ahead.

The 30,000 people will be filling up on gas, shopping at stores and looking for places to eat, but are businesses in the area ready to handle the crowd?

La Paloma Mexican Restaurant is located just a mile from the Lancaster Event Center where the rodeo is set to take place.

“We gotta make sure we’re ready for whatever happens,” said Leonard Jimenez, Owner of La Paloma.

Jimenez said he stocked up on extra supplies and food just to make sure he doesn’t run out for the possible influx of new customers next week.

“We’re going to fight through it, but it’s not an easy one.” That’s because the restaurant is still short on staff.

“We wanted to be open until whenever we could,” said Jimenez, “But now, we’re just struggling to put the pieces together to stay open during our regular times.”

House of Reitz Furniture Store and Boutique said they’ve been holding on throughout the pandemic and are excited that out-of-towners might support them this week.

“We know all about the rodeo. We would love to see the rodeo crowd come here because I think they’re going to find some stuff they weren’t expecting and that they’re going to really love,” owner Jamie Reitz told 10/11.

Not too far away at the Mexican spot Super Taco, big crowds for them aren’t out of the ordinary.

“When the fair started, we got a lot of people. When the circus came, we got a lot of people from the circus. Also, when Husker football games happen, we get a lot of people,” Owner Rogelio Arias said.

Arias said family and close friends make up a lot of their staff, so they’ve got a good amount of hands on deck to handle the crowd.

“We can get everything ready for 50 to 60 people at one time. They can come in and grab it. We’re ready for them,” Arias told 10/11.

All of the businesses owners we spoke with said they hope customers remain patient and understanding not only next week but always, as many are still struggling but want to give returning and new customers great service.

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