DES MOINES — The caucuses are now just 10 days away, along with President Trump making his visit to Des Moines next week. The effect of the caucuses goes well beyond the political spectrum.
This time of year there are a lot more people in Des Moines and people in the door of local businesses.
“It helps bring politicians in, it helps bring media that follow the politicians in. There’s a whole range of people that come in that not only buy stuff but hang out in the store,” RAYGUN director of stores Taylor Frame said.
Caucus time. When the entire country focuses on Iowa. That is good for local businesses.
“We would get by without it but it is a nice little bump in the years that it is around. I know a lot of the restaurants and bars see an increase in traffic,” Frame said.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the caucuses bring in almost $40 million and that goes beyond just hotels and restaurants.
“Musicians are often hired for campaign rallies so there are a lot of surprising ways that Iowa creative folks really take advantage of out of state dollars,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Michael Morgain said.
The State Historical Museum certainly keeps busy this time of year.
“It ebbs and flows and we certainly do feel the energy and more and more energy as we get closer to the big weekend,” Morgain said.
For Des Moines native Taylor Frame, the meaning goes beyond just dollars and cents.
“It’s just exciting to know that you’re an integral part of this process and that Iowa does matter at least this one time every four years,” Frame said.
RAYGUN said they see an uptick in sales of 30-40 percent in January and the State Historical Museum has an exhibit specifically on the Iowa Caucuses that they said is always busier right before the caucuses take place.