Home football games are back in Oxford, and with these games comes a boost in tourism. Businesses all over town benefit, thus they customize hours and merchandise to meet the rise of consumers for game weekends.
When school is in session, Oxford nearly doubles in size as students, their families, foodies and even arborists come to visit.
Joe Scott, Visitor Services Coordinator at Visit Oxford, says businesses thrive in the spring and fall thanks to big attractions like Double Decker Arts Festival and home football games.
“On your average month of food and beverage and hotel/motel tax in Oxford, we’ll see and receive about $33,000,” Scott said. “On months with a lot of home games, we see about $60,000, so it doubles the revenues.”
Scott says high tax revenues show a business’s success rate, which is always at one of its highest points during football season. For example, hotels raise their occupancy rate from a usual 60 percent to 98 percent full on game weekends, meaning almost every single hotel room in town is booked.
Donnie McCord, manager at pizza joint 6 N Tubbs, is a lifetime resident of Oxford and has seen the town develop and attract more people over the years. McCord loves that tourism for home football games brings people from all over.
“It’s a growing location, so as it grows, the business grows,” McCord said. “Plus you never know who’s going to walk through the door, and there’s always a new friend made every night.”
Not only must businesses in Oxford know how to manage tourism during the school year, but they also must be successful when students and tourists leave for the winter and summer.
“All the businesses here have to make sort of odd business plans,” Scott said. “They’re going to make their money in the fall and in the spring, so while things can look negative in the summer, they know the boom will come back around in the fall.”
McCord said Oxford’s growth has definitely been a boom. He remembers when the commercialized road leading past his business was gravel, and beyond that was where he used to ride four-wheelers.
As tourism grows, businesses will continue to spread and adapt to meet the demands of the rising population.
“Nowadays, people will call in and order a pizza 30 minutes before they get to town because they know everywhere will have a wait,” McCord said. “Game weekends here are crazy, but they sure are great for businesses.”
Hailey McKee is an intern for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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