ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The National Senior Games have been a big win for local businesses. Owners say they’ve seen big increases from out of town guests but never like this.
National Senior Games athletes say they aren’t just in it to win it, while they’re in the Land of Enchantment, they want to experience as much of the southwest as possible. “I’m just enjoying being here we went up last night up to the tram,” says Jim Harrington.
Local business owners say they’re reaping the benefits. “From day one we had extra business we’ve been really slamming everyday,” says Cafe Lush owner Tom Docherty.
Docherty says his downtown business typically feels the rush of most conventions. However, he says he’s serving more seniors and their families than expected. “Even though they are from all over they are very diverse, they ate like locals. they ate the chile they ate everything on the menu,” Docherty says.
With more than 13,000 athletes and their families in town, Visit ABQ says several attractions and tours have even added extra hours to accommodate the huge crowds. “Our partners have reported that what they had anticipated then what they had originally thought,” says Visit ABQ CEO, Tania Armenta.
Ahead of their arrival, it was estimated that these seniors would bring in more than $34 million to the city.
“It will be greater than an 11-day impact they arrived early they wanted to see the city they wanted to see the state so they’ve been out and about,” Armenta says.
Armenta says the impact goes beyond dollars and cents. “This is a chance to expose these people maybe they’ll come back as visitors additional in the future or maybe we’ll find some residents from the event, residents who want to retire and move here,” she says.
Athletes say so far they are impressed with what Albuquerque has to offer.” Of all these senior events I think Albuquerque stands really high. beautiful,” says Jan Biorks.
Officials say won’t have an exact number as far as revenue until the Senior Games wrap up. They end on Tuesday.