MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Super Bowl planners estimate more than 320,000 people have been to Super Bowl LIVE between Friday and Monday.
But as WCCO found, not everyone is cashing in on the crowds downtown.
Alain Lenne, owner of La Belle Crepe, announced this past fall that his business was closing. This decision came after three summers of construction and $200,000 in lost business.
But the crepes will compete for Nicollet Mall Super Bowl business after all. Super Bowl planners pushed him to stay open.
“It was great, then it went down and then back to normal,” Lenne said.
He credits Super Bowls crowds for that back-to-normal bottom line. He is staying open later and charging a few more dollars for food items at night. Except now, it has come at a cost of his usual crowd from the Medical Arts Building.
“I lost all of my regular customers when they decided not to work downtown, especially doctors that work down here,” Lenne said.
It is the same trouble brewing at Max’s Cafe in The Crossings skyway system on Washington Avenue.
“A lot of the people who work near me who are my regulars are working from home this week,” said owner Max Broich.
We found empty halls and signs of a quiet week ahead.
“I’m probably down 25 or 30 percent,” Broich said.
It is why Broich closed a half hour early Tuesday, turning to Facebook now for a boost.
He will stay open this weekend to make party platters for Super Bowl get-togethers at home.
“It’s still early in the week, so I’m hopeful it picks up,” Broich said.
A spokesperson with the Super Bowl Host Committee tells WCCO they have been working with downtown business owners for months to prepare them for this week.
In fact, they even designed the hours of Super Bowl LIVE around downtown workers, keeping things quiet during the day and starting events at 4 p.m. in hopes employees will check things out after work.