Savannah businesses benefiting from St. Patrick’s Day tourists

With St. Patrick’s Day falling midweek, local businesses are hoping to cash in on weekend tourism

Savannah businesses benefiting from St. Patrick’s Day tourists

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - For businesses in downtown Savannah, the festivities around St. Patrick’s Day typically bring in new customers and a big influx of income.

“We rely a lot on tourists. We do have a lot of solid locals who shop with us, but a lot of our business is foot traffic. So, without foot traffic people don’t find us and if people don’t find us, we don’t have orders to fulfill,” said Satchel Shop Manager Mary Kate Polsinelli.

Luckily for downtown businesses like Satchel, it seems St. Patrick’s Day has brought tourists back to town.

“Let’s face it, it’s springtime in Savannah. This is the time of year when visitors are flocking to our city. Didn’t happen last year but they’re coming back this year, so we’re really pleased with that,” said Visit Savannah President Joseph Marinelli.

It’s helping the custom leather goods boutique rebound following a rough stretch.

“Last weekend was really good for us. Typically, March is very busy, and the beginning of the month was a little slow. But last weekend we saw an influx of people and it was very, very good for us,” Polsinelli said.

Restaurants and bars also seeing a much-needed boost last weekend.

“I just want to thank everybody for all their support over the past year. It’s been an interesting year and now we see the light at the end of the tunnel for sure,” said Gaslight Group owner Brian Huskey.

The Gaslight Group consists of multiple restaurants and bars in Savannah, including The 5 Spot, which saw tremendous success over the weekend.

“Considering we’re still operating at half capacity we still blew last year out of the water. It was pretty incredible,” said Huskey.

With St. Patrick’s Day on a Wednesday these businesses may be able to double their profits.

“Anytime we see St. Patrick’s Day fall in the middle of the week like this you get a big boost the weekend before, you get a big boost the weekend after. Then you get a big spike in the middle of the week, Tuesday, Wednesday.”

Which is exactly what Polsinelli is banking on.

“People think that vacation money isn’t really money sometimes. So, it’s really nice to have everybody in town with some money in their pockets to burn. So, hopefully it will be really good like last weekend.”

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