Run prep: Hotels and motels almost full; bars, restaurants gear up for Runnin O' the Green
Almost all of Jamestown’s hotel and motel rooms are booked or will be filled this weekend for the 36th Runnin O’ the Green, according to hotel and motel managers in the community.
The Run, an annual pub crawl that benefits Elks Camp Grassick and families dealing with cancer, is Saturday. Participants are expected to stop at 10 bars/restaurants in Jamestown, where they can drink water, soft drinks or alcohol.
Buffalo City Tourism’s website reports the city has 630 hotel and motel rooms.
“It can’t get any busier than this,” said Phyllis Thompson, manager of the Gladstone Inn & Suites. “We’ve been booked completely for the last six months.”
Thompson said many of the rooms were booked by last year’s participants immediately after the 2013 run. The rest made reservations in the first six months that followed. More recently, a few people have asked to be put on a waiting list in case someone cancels.
“That almost never happens,” she said.
Shady’s, the lounge at the Gladstone, is one of the 10 stops during the Runnin O’ the Green.
“The restaurant and bar double their staff on the day of the Run,” Thompson said. “The hotel brings in a whole extra crew for cleanup on Sunday. There’s always plenty of work, but it’s a good time for everybody.”
The All Vets Club relies on volunteers to supplement its staff during the event, according to Jon Beyer, manager of the club. The club is also one of the stops on the Run.
“We have about 30 volunteers that help with setup, serving, food, running ice and stocking stations,” he said.
Those volunteers also helped prepare some of the drinks and supplement a regular staff of about 25 people who will all be working on Saturday.
Beyer, who is working his first Run at the club as manager, said he expects the Run to be a positive event for the hospitality industry in Jamestown.
“I’m as ready as I can be,” he said. “We’re hoping for a couple of thousand people and we’ll see how it goes.”
Other hotels and restaurants in Jamestown also see a boost in business.
“It’s pretty busy,” said Matt Stockert, general manager of Quality Inn & Suites. “It’s safe to say with people coming from all necks of the woods, most will need a place to stay.”
As of Tuesday morning, the Quality Inn had three rooms available, Stockert said. Tapp’s Lounge, located at the Quality Inn, is not a part of the Runnin O’ the Green route but is likely to see some extra business.
“In the hotel we treat it like another day,” Stockert said. “But the lounge is a little busier so we’ll probably add some staff there.”
Applebee’s restaurant is also not located on the route of the run but sees a significant increase in business during the Run.
“It’s always crazy busy,” said Danielle Bennett, manager of Applebee’s. “We open an hour early on Saturday just to accommodate people.”
Applebee’s also brings in extra servers, bartenders and cooks for the Saturday rush.
For those still looking for a room, the Holiday Inn Express had some vacancies before the run.
“We’re not booked up but we’ve picked up a lot of last-minute reservations,” said Matthew Woods, manager of the hotel. “We’ll probably even get a few Saturday night after the run when they decide they shouldn’t drive home.”
Woods said the timing of the Runnin O’ the Green after a long, cold winter will help the business community.
“It’s a nice bump considering that the winter months are slow,” he said. “It brings a lot of business to Jamestown.”
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org