Tens of thousands of visitors will flock the Coachella Valley this festival month, and a local mom and pop shop is ready to welcome the foot traffic.
Beer, water and ice will be on extra demand at LG Desert Store in Indio during the weekends of April. Richard Thomas is the general manager and he said the store has been a family operation for over 30 years, and going strong, but once festival season arrives his sales go through the roof.
“We’re double up on beer, water, monsters, and cigarettes,” Thomas said. “We get thousands of people everyday, it is crazy.”
He said the extra foot-traffic not only comes from festival goers, but also the thousands of employees that the event hires.
Thomas said, “Police come by, security guards come by, the truckers come by, it is amazing, we will even have an artist drop by every once and a while.”
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are on his customer roster, but LG Desert Store is just one of many local businesses that benefit from the tourism brought by the events.
Joshua Bonner is the president of the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce, and he said the festivals can bring business in unexpected ways.
Bonner said, “One of the artists that is coming needed help with alterations and so they hire local staff for that.”
A report from the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership said last year’s festival season brought in $400 million to the Coachella Valley, and $700 million to the surrounding region.
Bonner said there is no denying that the festivals make-up for the slower summer months of business, he said, “Sitting at the end of the season helped to really expand the shoulder all the way to April, that’s a massive impact our economy in every level.”
And Thomas at LG Desert Store can relate, he said, “This helps us get through the summer, we will do double what we do in July and August.”