Riverfest brings big business for River Market District

(KATV) Little Rock - Organizers say this year's Riverfest will go down as one of the most successful in the festival's 36-year history. The festival also brings traffic to businesses along the River Market every year.

Numbers for Saturday and Sunday are not available yet, but Friday nearly 80-thousand people attended Riverfest.

Things have calmed down in the River Market. This Memorial Day shops are open and employees are still busy helping customers.

Logan Garrett says, "It was good for people to be in here and see us and what we do." Garrett works at Bobby's Bike Hike. He says you can't buy advertising like what Riverfest did for them. Tens of thousands of people walking by, looking at the product and many of them decided to take a bike for a spin.

Garrett adds, "We stayed busy with all the people renting bikes out. We had tours we did as well. Really busy."

Even during a short down pour, people took cover in their small shop and learned about what all they offer. "Our three big points in business are community, travel and fitness. We think bikes offer that, especially with the part of town we're in. We have the River Trail at our back door and from downtown to Pinnacle Mountain if you wanted to go that far."

Big Whiskey's Bar and Grill put their fifth Riverfest in the record books. Teresa Lindsey worked the weekend shift. She is a bartender and helps wait on tables. "We were super busy. Especially with the rain on Sunday. We got a lot, a lot of business from that and it was crazy busy."

She says tables moved fast because people took breaks from the festival to get air conditioning, sit on the patio and get a big meal before heading to a concert. She has an idea of how much business the three did festival brought them..."Quadrupled I would say. Just a lot of traffic. We got so busy, it was hard to keep up and get to talk to everybody but yeah, there are a lot of interesting people."

Riverfest brings in about 33-million dollars to Central Arkansas every year. A spokesperson says many of the vendors are local so that money stays in the state as well.