WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The annual Automobilia Car show is a big event for downtown Wichita. More than 1,000 cars hit the streets this year, and business owners are happy about the revenue this event brings in for them as well.
“We’re slammed all the time, but it’s just a different flow,” Schane Gross, The Anchor owner, said.
The hot rods weren’t the only thing bringing the heat on Saturday with temperatures reaching 92 degrees. Some people were looking for a place to cool down, and that’s good for business, too.
“Increase our territory, increase the amount of people that know about us,” Mark Daniels, Wichita Cheesecake Company co-owner, said. “The exposure is what helps our business grow.
Some businesses even noticed more first-time customers than people returning.
“Earlier in the day, it was just kind of people setting up their cars, and they were awesome,” Gross said. “Now, it’s just people that are kind of wandering in, wandering out.”
Justin Wilson hit the road from Johnson County this morning. He didn’t have any intentions of checking the car show out and enjoyed the air-conditioning for the day but he did have his eyes on one small business.
“Cheesecake Factory is okay, but then I saw Wichita Cheesecake Company,” Wilson said. “I saw the pictures and I was like, ‘Oh, my God.’”
While these businesses are seeing success with the car show, they recognize others may not be as lucky.
“Saturdays are their busiest days so I can see someone up the road. They might not appreciate this as much,” Gross said. “It might divert traffic from them completely for a day.”
For a Saturday downtown, it’s an opportunity they couldn’t pass up.
“We couldn’t blow off Automobilia and be amateurs,” Gross said.
Organizers estimate between 10,000 and 50,000 people attend the car show every year. Proceeds from this year will go towards Convoy of Hope of Wichita and Wichita’s Littlest Heroes.