Having a country music festival just steps away tends to provide a nice boost for businesses right in the village of Craven itself.
Tens of thousands visit Craven Country Jamboree each year. Surrounding stores, shops, restaurants and motels stand to benefit from the surge of people.
“We definitely do see a big increase in business for the shows. I would say I get maybe double the normal weekend business just on average,” said Al Lukovszki, owner of the Esso Gas Station.
He said business can be affected by the weather. Some years the gas station has long lineups at the pumps and at the register. Lukovszki said they plan each year for that potential, extending their hours while bringing in additional staff, as other nearby businesses do as well.
“We want to get people in and out as quick as possible,” he said.
“Certainly we do have a lot more business in the town of Craven,” explained Carolyn McKay with Craven Motor Inn. “Everybody runs dry sooner or later if they’re partying as hard as they always do over there.”
She admits she’s been busier in the past. In recent years access in and out of the festival site has changed, resulting in some people being forced to walk right along the highway with their supplies back to the jamboree. For some that’s too far.
But as people run out of supplies or need gas, these businesses are still mere minutes away.
Businesses indicate they generally see a nice boost in customers in the summer months anyway, as people look to get out of the city for a vacation or for a weekend. Lukovszki revealed that August is his busiest month of the year, not July, even with the festival on.