Small businesses brace for NFL draft’s big impact

Several Las Vegas Strip businesses hope to cash in during NFL Draft Weekend.
Several Las Vegas Strip businesses hope to cash in during NFL Draft Weekend.(FOX5)
Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 10:22 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Thursday afternoon, the NFL Draft will takeover over Las Vegas and the Strip for the first time.

The NFL’s top prospects will be outside the Bellagio as teams make their selections. The draft will continue Friday and Saturday with hundreds of thousands of people expected to attend each day.

For small businesses surrounding the Strip, the massive crowds will have a big impact.

“It is going to go from calm before the storm to absolute chaos,” said Colby Good, a flair bartender at Fuel Bar. The bar is just across the street from the Bellagio fountains where the massive stage is set. The bar is stocked and prepared for what is to come.

“I know Nashville set some records with attendance couple years ago and I do expect that we are going to break that number,” Good said.

A record 600,000 people attended the last pre-COVID-19 draft in Nashville, spending an estimated $133 million.

“We are prepared for it, we are getting ready, we are excited,” said Achilles Rivera with Dirt Dog. The hot dog stand also has a new bar and has only been open about three months.

The NFL Draft crowds may be the biggest they’ve ever seen.

“It is going to bring in a lot of people. We already have everything set up,” Rivera said.

At Las Vegas Souvenirs and Gifts, owner Jimmy Singh said he’s been looking forward to the boost in business since the NFL Draft was first supposed to be held in Las Vegas in 2020.

“We waiting for two years… I am ready for that,” Singh said.

Singh’s business depends almost entirely on foot traffic and the area was a ghost town at the height of the pandemic but soon it will be slammed. While FOX5 was there, the first NFL fans were already coming in.

“NFL draft!,” they exclaimed.

“We are ready! Yes ma’am we are ready for that,” Singh replied.