Press-Republican

May 1, 2014

Business picks up in city on race day

KAITLYN AFFUSO
Press-Republican

PLATTSBURGH — On your mark, get set ...

It wasn’t only runners who prepped for Sunday’s City of Plattsburgh Half-Marathon and Relay.

At Dunkin’ Donuts at the Skyway Shopping Center, Manager Denise Holtsclaw packed the schedule with extra staff and loaded the shop with prepped product.

“I used the whole staff except three or four people,” she said. “I even have all my new people on.”

There is a rush of business on that Sunday morning each year, as the 13-mile Half-Marathon both starts and ends at nearby U.S. Oval, and friends and family of runners seek sustenance.

Also, Dunkin’ Donuts donates coffee to the Half-Marathon annually. 

Holtsclaw said their participation is good advertising and lets them take a role in community events, too.

At 1:30 p.m. Sunday, the doughnut shop was getting back to normal.

“Once the parking lot cleared out, we knew the rush was over,” Holtzclaw said, “and (we) started catching back up for the rest of the day.”

WATCHED RUNNERS GO BY

While other businesses at that end of the city, such as Subway and Yando’s Big M supermarket, didn’t see more traffic than usual, some downtown establishments did.

One of those was the Bagel Pit on Brinkerhoff Street, where co-owner Brittany Taylor said pre-race business — before the 8 a.m. start — was more brisk than usual.

“We barely got any customers during the actual run, so we were able to go outside and watch the runners go by,” Taylor said. “Otherwise, it’s been a pretty normal Sunday.”

Smooth Moves on Broad Street had a typical Sunday morning, too.

Employee Mallory Dejohn said the shop doesn’t open until 9 a.m. that day, so they missed any pre-race customers. And only a few people connected with the Half-Marathon came in afterward.

‘TODAY WAS CRAZY’

On Cornelia Street, however, Starbucks saw some major business.

The coffee purveyor opened at 6:30 a.m. to the typical kind of traffic for that day of the week, Supervisor Lindsey St. John said.

But at 8 a.m., she said, the “craziness hit.

“Sundays are usually kind of up in the air, but today was crazy,” she emphasized.

For the most part, St. John said, customers were race spectators having their morning cups of coffee and trying to keep warm.

Sunday was rainy, with temperatures in the 40s.

Starbucks management was aware of the event and the possibility of an increase in business, so an extra staff member was scheduled and extra product was prepped. 

St. John said the rush continued throughout lunchtime, with staff finally able to take a breather around 2 p.m.

COMBINATION OF EVENTS

Comfort Inn Suites on Cornelia Street/Route 3 had a good weekend, as well; however, front-desk attendant Charles Berg said it was a combination of events that brought out-of-towners in.

“There’s been the hockey tournament, the Half-Marathon, and then there was a sorority reunion that brought in a lot of business (last weekend),” he explained.

And local families joined the mix with a different kind of sporting activity in mind — they used the pool.