Local businesses get boost from Bi-State Classic - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Local businesses get boost from Bi-State Classic


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Thousands of high school wrestlers and fans have come to La Crosse for the 32nd Annual Bi-State Classic wrestling tournament.

Dozens of teams from Wisconsin and Minnesota will compete Friday and Saturday at the La Crosse Center.

That makes some local businesses as excited as the athletes – like the staff at Buzzard Billy's on Pearl Street.

The restaurant is across the street from the La Crosse Center.

"It's huge. It's great for business," said Rob Larson, co-owner of Buzzard Billy's.

Larson said the restaurant fills up fast when the Classic is in town.

"We might have a couple of tables in here and within 10 minutes we could have 150 people walk through the door all thirsty and all hungry," he said.

The business increases staff and is ready to serve, appreciating the boost in customers between Christmas and New Years.

"They can only watch so much wrestling and then they're going to look for other things to do," said Dave Clements, executive director of the La Crosse Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Overall the Classic is expected to bring about 4,000 people into the city, according to LACVB numbers. That could have an economic impact between $200,000 and $250,000.

"(People will visit) the sub shops, the restaurants, what have you – and then obviously people going out to the mall," Clements said.

Larson said he sees the same people coming into Buzzard Billy's year after year.

The majority of the people are from out of town, so they have a good experience, and have a great experience in La Crosse," Larson said. "Word of mouth is the best advertising."

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