SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – “The streets were just outstanding,” Jim Plueger, the owner of Helping Hands Donations & Thrift store, said.
Business all down central avenue in Le Mars was also outstanding.
“It went through the roof actually because the door was open all day long and people coming in and out checking it out,” Plueger added,
He said after the pandemic halted business, RAGBRAI rolling through put his shop months ahead.
“Oh I wish we could have it every year. I wish we could just do it every year because it was just immense for the economic standpoint of the store,” Plueger said.
Wishful thinking, sure, considering it’s been more than a decade since riders pedaled off from le mars.
“It’s been since 2005 since we’ve had RAGBRAI in le mars.”
Mitch Christoffel is the executive chair for RAGBRAI.
He said local vendors, nonprofits and merchants, were all told to prep for a busy holiday weekend.
“It was a tremendous boost in our economy during those two-day areas,” Christoffel said.
Christoffel said there isn’t a survey of numbers to see just how much money was brought into town but it was definitely felt.
“RAGBRAI themselves, they bring a demographic that typically has a discretionary income.”
It’s more than businesses packing their pockets, though. It was a sigh of relief and a feeling of gratitude to host RAGBRAI in 2021.
“Especially during a year of really relapse where a lot of these small businesses couldn’t really do much and couldn’t generate income,” Christoffel added.