Beale Street Counts on NYE for Economic Boost

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(Memphis) The survival of businesses on Beale Street can depend on New Year’s Eve.

Millions of dollars will be brought into the city from the near 30,000 people expected to pack Beale Street to see the Hard Rock Guitar drop at midnight. 

Ty Agee owns Miss Polly’s on Beale Street and says tonight festivities may only last a few hours but the economic impact last way past midnight, “It pays your bills for January and gets you though February. That’s what it does."

Roger Whitaker is one of the tourists Agee is counting on to spend money and keep the bills paid. 

This is his first time in Memphis for the Liberty Bowl, but the City is making a pretty good impression.

“This is my first time to be down around the Beale Street area and I think it’s a lot of fun.  Looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun tonight.  Especially after the game,” said Whitaker.

Iowa State fans can’t agree with Whitaker on who will win today’s game, but they can agree on that Memphis is a great place to travel and spend money.

“We have to come back sometime. I don’t know when but we’ll be back,” said Calvin Hefty.

The Beale Street Merchants Association says the crowd from Iowa State has been especially large for the Liberty Bowl and that should help with revenue, but the cold and rainy forecast could keep people from coming out on the street and have a negative impact on New Year’s Revenue. 

Agee says even if it does rain he still expects people to come out there just may not be as many and they’ll probably stay inside the bars and restaurants.