Big weekend for Buffalo business

Rolling Stones, Taste of Buffalo bring thousands of people, dollars to the Queen City

Rolling Stones at The Ralph

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — From local eats to iconic rock ‘n’ roll beats, the Queen City wasn’t short of things to to this past weekend.

The Taste of Buffalo and the Rolling Stones concert brought thousands of people and lots of business to Buffalo.

The Hyatt Regency, where the rock legends were rumored to to stay, was booked for months before the big show.

“We actually were sold out for quite some time. If I were to give a number I would say about two or three months ago we were roughly sold out and we’ve been sold out ever since then,” said Sales and Marketing Director for the hotel, Bryan Messer.

For the 32nd annual Taste of Buffalo, 450,000-500,000 people were expected to show up.

But organizer Laura Jacobs told News 4 she thinks they may have exceed that.

Kim Pegula, 716 Tent
Kim Pegula & “Rookie of the Year” winner 716 Restaurant

“Based on the crowds and some of the feedback that we’ve gotten from the restaurants, it definitely seems like it was one of the bigger Tastes that we’ve ever had,” she said.

And Jacobs guesses the largest two-day food festival in the country got a boost from out-of-town Stones fans.

“There were a lot of Rolling Stones t-shirt wearers Sunday walking around the Taste,” she said.

There were 250 different food items to try, and there were lines at nearly every tent on both days.

Jacobs said one stand out was the “Rookie of the Year” tent 716, with guest cook, Kim Pegula.

But it wasn’t just a successful weekend; tourism experts said this weekend’s crowd will benefit the Queen City for months to come.

“We’ll see a really good economic return on that we can quantify through the bed tax and well as the sales tax for Erie County,” said Patrick Kaler, President and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara.

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