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Show-Me State Games boosts local businesses

Thousands of visitors are in Columbia this weekend for the Show-Me State Games.

It is one of the busiest weekends in Mid-Missouri and it is expected to boost the city’s economy.

Last year, the games generated a minimum of $12.2 million, according to the Show-Me State Games 2014 annual report. And beyond that, an extended economic impact of more than $23 million.

This weekend alone, there are about 5,700 athletes competing in the games, along with several thousands of spectators. According to the report, each athlete and their spectators spend an average of about $144 while they are in town.

“The great thing about these people who are coming in from out of town is not only do they stay in our hotels, they also eat in our restaurants, they shop in our stores, they fill up with gas at our convenience stores,” Megan McConachie with the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau said. “So all of those different types of businesses are going to have an impact from all of these visitors.”

Kayle Laws, a manager at Seoul Taco, said she has already noticed a difference this weekend.

“We have been pretty slow the last couple weeks just because the students being out of town,” Laws said. “We’ve definitely started to pick up a little bit, just even today we’ve noticed a big difference in the rushes that we’ve had and the speed of things.”

Last year, more than 34,000 athletes participated in the Show-Me State Games. That is up from only 600 participants in the first year of the games in 1985.

The games will continue through Sunday afternoon, and pick up again the third and fourth weekend of July.

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