Oh my God, the race is this weekend at Kansas Speedway, it will be a zoo!
"Craig, bet you guys will be packed with the NASCAR race fans this weekend!" Yeah, right. That’s what everybody always says. And what’s really nice is the city puts all those highway signs up saying, RACE WEEK, FRIDAY & SATURDAY.
Meaning, STAY AWAY IT WILL BE NUTS.
Now here’s the truth: "This is unreal, we are one of the busiest restaurants in the area and this is our slowest weekend of the year unless it snows," said a Yardhouse waiter.
Yardhouse, in its 6th year, is one of the busiest restaurants in the Legends shopping area. Stanford’s is in its fifth year at Legends and we too have some of our slowest weekends during NASCAR.
First off, nobody comes until the race event which is on Sunday.
Yes, in years past they had crowds for the Formula races on Saturday and time trials Friday. Since those are gone, the crowds have been small before race day on Saturday.
Now they have a truck event that draws very few on Friday and no time trials to speak of.
Plus the Saturday crowds have fallen by 30% or more. And most of those folks that come live here – they’re not from out of town. And as you may have noticed, the Plaza, Westport, P&L gets almost no NASCAR fans to speak of either.
NASCAR fans don’t go anywhere.
They don’t even cross the street to visit Legends or, for that matter, even Hooters doesn’t kill it. And they’re next door to the damn thing. You’d think they’d love HOOTERS!
The event does everything it can to keep all the money at the track, so there’s almost no interaction between them and anyone else, including Legends. The drivers used to come in and do autographs and promo at Legends, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards and so on.
Maybe they should. It might up local sales. Almost all the people who go to the speedway spend their money on beer, food, t-shirts and hats at the track. So they have little to spend elsewhere.
They are only there for the race, that’s it. Even the hotels are not all sold out anymore.
We hate it because the city thinks we are too busy that weekend. But the reality is, nobody locally wants to fight the non-existent crowds. It’s weird. Even our parking lots are only half full. Looks like a snow day.
So if you want to shop, eat or be entertained at Legends/Village West come on race weekend.
There are no waits and there’s plenty to do. Hey, don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice event and helps put our city on the map. But they need to work with everyone else to make the weekend a success.
Right now it really isn’t. Except for the track.
It’s like many of our city’s so-called "big events" that bring in millions. Bullcrap.
Who comes up with these numbers? Like, "Boy, a playoff game at Arrowhead brings in millions to the city." Really? Where, other than Arrowhead? 99% of the people who go live here. They don’t need a hotel and don’t really eat out anywhere except where they normally eat. Or they eat at – guess where? – ARROWHEAD!
Events are for the event area only these days. The economy is one reason. Too many events is the other.
Still they are nice to have, but we need some help from the city to make it work for everyone.
Starting with, take down those stupid highway signs: RACEWEEK FRIDAY AND SATURDAY…stay away!