Austin businesses prepare for March madness

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by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE NEWS and photojournalist DOUG NAUGLE

Bio | Email | Follow: @ShannonM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on March 1, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 6 at 6:12 PM

AUSTIN -- This is the month when Austin is in the spotlight, visitors from around the world will be in town to experience some of the events that put Austin on the map. Not only will there be a big economic impact this March but all of the events are also a chance to showcase the city, and show the world what Austin is all about.

Live music can be found any time, anywhere in Austin, Texas

"Austin seems like the place for musicians to come to," said musician Derek Hoki.

Hoki plays his ukulele outside Dunn Bros Coffee four or five times a week. This month they expect the shop to be full to the brim.

"It's my job!" Hoki said.

This month he will be one of thousands of musicians in town for the SXSW music, film and interactive festival. The event alone draws nearly 300,000 people to downtown Austin every year and generates about $167 million for the city.

"We start preparing for March 6-8 months in advance," said Fado Irish Pub Marketing and Events Coordinator Kim Rector.

Rector says not only is March big because of SXSW, it is also big because of St. Patrick's Day.

"We block off the entire street, thousands of people will be here," she said.

Rector says they've stocked up on extra kegs and they rely on volunteers who will line up outside to help out.

"There are people that just want to be part of the party and part of the festival so they'll just come pour beer for us all day long," Rector said.

Bar owner Paul Chokota is hoping to maximize his profits this March. This year, Chokota is leasing out his space and when KVUE met him on Friday he was installing a stage inside his bar and transforming it into a venue for the festival.

"I could do three months worth of sales in one week, it's huge for us," Rector said. "You're talking $300-400,000 in one week in sales"

It's not just SXSW bringing crowds, Rodeo Austin, Texas Relays and UIL state basketball tournaments will also bring in hundreds of thousands of people on top of all the festival goers.

Whether it's alcohol they're stocking up on or coffee, these Austin businesses say they're ready for March madness.

And for musicians like Hoki, it's the best month of the year

"Austin is exactly the place for me to be," Hoki said.

For more detailed information on March events visit :

http://sxsw.com/

http://www.austintexas.org/

 

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