CWS Benefiting Some Local Businesses, Hurting Others

Kimberly Foley

CWS Benefiting Some Local Businesses, Hurting Others

CREATED Jun. 21, 2013

Omaha, NE -- The College World Series is Omaha's biggest event. Downtown is busy.

You might think the Old Market is busting at the seams this time of year, but some locals tell us the crowds during the CWS are actually smaller than other summer nights.

Since last week, people in town for the CWS have kept bars busy.

"It's awesome for us," said Will Sievering, a bartender at Billy Froggs. "Being downtown, we are right next to the hotels so the hotels send people to us."

Sievering said not only has the bump from the CWS been great, but they're also still seeing their regular customers.

"It's been pretty consistent," he said. "Our regulars still come in every day and then just business has increased on top of it so it's awesome for us."

On the opposite side, are restaurants like Vivace.

Manager Leslie Ejhely said they have taken a hit because locals are staying home.

"Typically our dining room is full from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and then it starts dying out after that, but we have several open tables right now," said Ejhely.

Something else that has been tough is the lack of business travelers coming to Omaha on weekdays because of the CWS.

"They don't tend to come down," said Ejhely. "They're not traveling these weeks because of the hotel rates. They are all booked as it is. Companies don't want to pay $500 a night to conduct business."

Omaha residents said they notice the fans, but also notice the lack of a normal Friday night crowd.

They said there is a misconception that Old Market is overly busy during the two weeks of the CWS.

"This is the best time to come downtown and support local business because it's slow," said resident LeeAnn Boyle. "You can get into the restaurants, all the hair salons, get a massage. It's a great place to be downtown right now."