MASON CITY, Iowa - After the RAGBRAI festivities, it’s back to a normal work week. Some business owners are relishing in the money made during the rush, while it left others with a big hole in their accounts.
“For Mason City, it went great, for us, it didn’t go quite so good,” says Suzie Q Owner, Troy Levenhagen.
He was all prepped and ordered plenty of food as hungry riders coasted into Mason City last week. He had a prime location across from all the action but, an unexpected obstacle came his way.
“What happened is, if you ask anyone in town, I had 5 to 10 thousand people across from me, but it got gated off,” says Levenhagen.
Once they went around that gate, folks had plenty of other options.
“There were thousands of people that walked down there. They had to stop and turn around. After they turned around, they had to go in front of 60 other vendors. By that time, they made their choice,” says Levenhagen.
His business lost about $1,200 that day.
“The only thing is, I would’ve wanted to be notified in advance. I would’ve cut back on my food. I would’ve loved for it to open up more, so we all could have got some of that business,” says Levenhagen.
The majority of that business stayed in the immediate downtown area. While some, like Suzie Q’s struggled, others like Mason City Brewing did very well.
“RAGBRAI was a pretty amazing day for us,” says partial owner of Mason City Brewing, Jake Rajewsky.
His team and volunteers served a lot of beer that day.
“We sold about 50 kegs of beer, which is usually about two months’ worth of our regular sales, so we were happy. Two months of sales in one day was a great day for us,” says Rajewsky
It was all about location, location, location. Even those who didn’t do as well, like Levenhagen, took notice of what a great hump day it was for Mason City and thanked those who planned it.
“Everyone struggles, everyone has bad times, but overall this town rocked. I lost, a few other vendors lost, but overall it was a positive thing that happened in Mason City,” says Levenhagen.
Both businesses want to thank everyone who made the day such a success. Those at Mason City Brewing, especially want to thank their volunteers. They were able to raise more than $1,200 dollars in tips, all going towards the Friends of Murphy Park in Mason City. The money will help build new biking and walking trails.