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Loss of Husker Harvest Days a “real blow” to the community

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 5:50 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Grand Island is expected to take a significant financial hit from the cancellation of Husker Harvest Days.

Through a study with the Bureau of Business Research, the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce found Husker Harvest Days has a $15 million impact on the community: That includes the circulation of direct, indirect and induced dollars.

It’s new money that’ll be missed this year.

“These businesses are not going to recoup any of the losses that occurred earlier in this year,” said Cindy Johnson, president of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce. “That’s gone revenue. That’s revenue that won’t be available to those businesses, to those employees and then ultimately circulating in the community.”

Tens of thousands of people attend Husker Harvest Days every year, spending money at Grand Island restaurants, shopping centers and hotels.

“Husker Harvest Days is probably, as far as demand for hotel rooms, one of the busiest times of the year,” said Nathan Delaet, general manager at MainStay Suites in Grand Island.

Normally hotel rooms are full a week before, and during the event. That may not be the case this year. With the COVID-19 pandemic and event cancellations, Delaet said revenue is, and will be down for all hotels in Grand Island.

“You just have to adjust your expenses accordingly and hopefully things will be better next year,” Delaet said.

He said since they were alerted fairly early to the cancellation of Husker Harvest Days, they can start making plans to book other groups during that time.

Johnson said all they can do now is take time this fall to get ready for all these cancelled events to make a come back in 2021.

Copyright 2020 KSNB. All rights reserved.

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