Businesses have mixed reactions to DNC crowds

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The first day of business since the Democratic National Convention wound down Monday, and things are getting back to normal in Charlotte.

That's good news for some restaurants and street vendors who say they lost money, but others said the week of the DNC was a game-changer for them.

Street vendors were setting back up along Tryon Street on Monday, and the usual lunch crowd is back.

One hot dog vendor said he was busy at CarolinaFest last Monday and spent the rest of the week at Legacy Village, but had few customers. He said no one was there.

“It was kind of hard to find,” he said.

Flower vendor Rick Little took last week off because he couldn't set up during the convention.

“(I’m) glad to be making money again,” he said.

Little said he lost two grand in sales last week.

“How important is this normal flow of traffic?” Eyewitness News asked.

“(It’s) very important so I can get business from Bank of America and Wells Fargo workers,” he said.  

Salsaritas on South Tryon Street was also closed.

“At the time, it was so busy and hard to get our trucks through to deliver food,” said Robert Robinson with Salsaritas.

At Pie in the Sky pizza parlor, they said they ordered extra supplies for the DNC but didn't need them, calling it an average week.

Leaders had estimated the DNC would bring $150 million into Charlotte, and some businesses did get their chunk of that cash.

Alejandro Torio, 5 Church co-owner, said big names like Jessica Alba and Nancy Pelosi showed up all week. He said they were serving food until 2 a.m. last week, long after they typically do.

“(There was) a lot of good Internet feedback -- buzz on Facebook and especially Twitter,” Torio said.

Location was a big factor in which business did well last week. Some complained blockades and fences kept customers away, while others ended up being right in the middle of all the crowds.