COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Show-Me State Games returns to Columbia for the 37th year, once again supporting the cities economy by bringing in thousands from across the state.
The Show-Me-State Games are an Olympic-style festival hosting over 40 games and competitions. The games return to Columbia after being cancelled in 2020 during the pandemic.
This year the games played a big role in supporting hotels, businesses and restaurants after the pandemic canceled last years events.
Randa Rawlins, the President and CEO of Shelter Insurance Companies, and one of the partners of the Show-Me State games said one of the key things this year is bringing the games back to Columbia to support the economic vitality of the city.
"They missed it last year, and it's important to have that economic boost for our restaurants and our hotels and other businesses to have all of those people coming in from all over the state," Rawlins said.
Megan McConachie, with the Columbia Conventions and Visitor's Bureau said the games are one of the largest events in Columba, bringing in a large influx of people from all of the state.
"So thats a really important part of our tourism product. Throughout the year, these folks stay in our hotels, they dine our restaurants and they shop in our stores. We also hope that the experience that they have here at the games means they'll come back and visit other times throughout the year," McConachie said.
McConanchie said with the thousands of extra people staying in Columbia for the weekend, many hotels were full.
"We are hoping that this weekend and next weekend will both be big days for our hotels," McConachie says.
McConachie said last year when the pandemic canceled the games, the hospitality and tourism industry was one of the hardest hit.
The games took place Friday to Sunday, and more games will take place next weekend.