Bix for business: How some shops hope to rebound after the flood

Local News

Business owners hope millions of dollars coming in during Bix weekend will go a long way

Some businesses are still working to attract customers after the historic flood of 2019.

A lot of them hope they’ll see a rebound from this weekend’s Bix race and street fest.

Charlotte Doehler-Morrison with Visit Quad Cities says people are signed up to run the Bix 7 this weekend.

“61% of those people are coming from further out than a 50 mile radius. In fact, we have people coming from every state and from 16 countries outside the U.S,” she says.

Those people usually bring family and friends, which brings an estimated 30,000 visitors to the Quad Cities.

“Those people are out shopping, staying at hotels, spending money in our community,” Doehler-Morrison says.

The Bucktown Center for the Arts has been closed for nearly three months.

Artists inside the building are hoping that Bix weekend brings in big business.

“We opened this gallery June 1st of 2018. We were just getting ready to celebrate our first anniversary and the HESCO Barrier broke,” says Jim Elias, Co-Owner Sunrise Galleries East inside Bucktown Center for the Arts.

Elias is one of more than a dozen artists who finally reopened last Thursday.

“We had several days because of cold or snow where we didn’t even open, so we kind of already had a tough year and we were bullish on this summer,” Elias says.

He and his wife were able to save their artwork but he says another business in the building lost about $20,000 in inventory.

“We love doing the art, but we want to sell it, too,” Elias says.

Staff at the Visitors Bureau say those numbers make this year’s race and festival even more important.

“The impact for this weekend is going to be multiplied because of those businesses, they’ve lost a lot of income,” Doehler-Morrison says.

Elias hopes those customers will come their way, too.

“What we’re looking forward to most is people coming in to not only look at art but buy it,” he says.

The Bucktown Center is kicking off Bix weekend with an open house, called Final Fridays.

They haven’t been able to have one since April.

You can also catch the opening of a Bix-related photography called “The Art of Running” by Mark Stegmaier.

You can find more information on Final Friday by clicking here.

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