AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Formula One weekend was both boon and bust for Austin businesses.
Hotels in the Austin area were the big winners according to the Smith Travel Research report which counted more than $37 million in revenue for the entire week of Nov. 12-18.
But it was a much different story of businesses on South Congress.
"It was just not happening," said Guero's Taco Bar manager Gina McClelland. "Our business went down kind of significantly."
Several restaurants and shops on South Congress are calling the weekend "Formula None" after crowds were much lower than expected.
"We prepared extra staff members, made way for extra parking, and were just expecting really big numbers," said McClelland. "But it was slower than a regular weekend."
McClelland thinks the fan fest not only stole most of the crowds, but the much-publicized traffic concerns may have kept regular customers at home.
The same problems were nowhere to be found at hotels.
STR reports the average daily rate for a hotel room on the Saturday night before the race was $300.44.
By comparison, the ADR for the same weekend in 2011, a Texas Longhorn home football game weekend, was $111.40.
Total hotel revenue for the entire week was up 140% from the same week in 2011 and of the 29,896 total hotel rooms, 94.4% were filled on the Saturday before the race.
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