Mardi Gras season brings critical boom for local businesses - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Mardi Gras season brings critical boom for local businesses

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Mardi Gras season sales makes up a major portion of the annual income for some local businesses. (Source: KSLA News 12) Mardi Gras season sales makes up a major portion of the annual income for some local businesses. (Source: KSLA News 12)
In January and February, Mardi Gras makes up about 60% of business for Tubbs Hardware, including selling and shipping king cakes. (Source: KSLA News 12) In January and February, Mardi Gras makes up about 60% of business for Tubbs Hardware, including selling and shipping king cakes. (Source: KSLA News 12)
BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) -

Mardi Gras season is underway and that can mean big bucks for many local businesses.

Tubbs Hardware is already booming with shoppers.

"We sell to all the krewes, all the tourists, all the people that come to visit for Mardi Gras and its a huge economic impact for us," said owner Don Tubbs.

In January and February, Tubbs says Mardi Gras makes up about 60% of his business, including selling and shipping king cakes. Tubbs produces 10,000 of them a year. In fact, he says, Mardi Gras pretty much keeps him in business during the winter.

"You can starve to death in the hardware business in the winter," said Tubbs. "It would be a slim time of year for us, but now it's a huge time of year for us."

Mardi Gras keeps Lilah's Bakery in business too. In fact, king cakes are all they do. They are open from the start of the season and close in early March when Mardi Gras is over.

Last year, Lilah's made 9,000 king cakes and they expect to do 10,000 this year. They also sell them in 17 different stores.

It's been a steady stream of customers already and things usually ramp up even more during the last 2 1/2 weeks of the season.

"It's been super busy already. We have sold this week about twice as much as I expected to do. so I have no idea where we are going to end by the end of the season," said owner Lisa Tike.

Mardi Gras has a big economic impact on the whole Shreveport-Bossier area. Last year, a survey of visitors to the 4 largest parades in the ArkLaTex determined an economic impact of $9-16 million.

"When you go to a parade, about 30 percent of the people there are not from Shreveport- Bossier. They are visitors. Many drive from the surrounding 120-mile radius, explained Chris Jay, Public Relations Manager with the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau.

"When you come into town, you need to do everything from refill your car's gas tank, buy something to eat, go to a restaurant, go to the boardwalk." 

The Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau says most of the out-of-towners who do visit during this time of year are on day trips. They are hoping to convince more of them to stay the night so they can bring in even more revenue to the area in the future.

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