ST. PAUL - With Super Bowl LII less than four weeks away, Twin Cities businesses seek to use the country's biggest sporting event to market their brands to a national audience.
Super Bowl LII is expected to generate more than $400 million in new spending when it comes to U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Feb. 4. - a windfall many businesses hope to cash in on.
"We're going to see a very hefty economic impact and increase over typical years," said Pete Zellmer, director of sales and marketing for the St. Paul Hotel.
Last year's Super Bowl generated roughly $428 million in new spending for the Greater Houston area, contributing nearly $350 million to the city's gross domestic product.
The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee estimates each Twin Cities visitor will spend an average of $625 per day. Businesses looking to profit on the influx of visitors are using various approaches to lure customers through their doors.
Appealing to attendees
Both the St. Paul Hotel and the St. Paul Grill expect a spike in business during Super Bowl week.
The hotel has committed the majority of its rooms to visitors - particularly national media members in town to cover the game, Zellmer said.
"Due to us being one of the staples in the community ... we had to commit a very large amount of rooms to the Super Bowl itself," he said.
The St. Paul Grill will host private dining parties and cater events in addition to its weekly business, Zellmer said. The restaurant, which has seen an uptick in reservations, will feature different menu offerings and rare liquor options for the occasion.
The Grill bought a 40-year-old bottle of scotch for $8,000 to serve during Super Bowl week, Zellmer said. One-ounce pours of the rare whiskey will cost $650. The Grill will also unveil an 18-liter Melchior of 2013 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon. Only eight of the 60-pound bottles of wine were created for 2018.
Other businesses have contracted top music artists in hopes of attracting affluent visitors.
Mystic Lake Casino will host Club Nomadic, a pop-up nightclub featuring "world-class" performances from famous musicians, from Feb. 1-4 in Prior Lake.
Performers include the Chainsmokers, Ellie Goulding, Florida Georgia Line and Gwen Stefani.
A slate of notable artists will also headline parties at Minneapolis' Lumber Exchange Building from Feb. 1-3. The lineup features Jamie Foxx, Shaquille O'Neal, Ludacris, Rick Ross, Nick Cannon and more.
Empire Entertainment, which operates the Lumber Exchange venues like the Pourhouse and Exchange and Alibi Lounge, partnered with nightlife company Tao Group for the events.
"We look at it as more of an opportunity to highlight our brands on a national level," said Allie Gilbert, director of marketing at Empire Entertainment. "Obviously, Minneapolis is going to be well-served by having it here."
Business as usual
Some Twin Cities establishments are sticking to normal business operations in the week leading up to the Super Bowl.
Manny's Steakhouse, located just a mile away from the stadium, will host its brunch buffet - usually reserved for major holidays - on Super Bowl Sunday. Aside from a separate private party, no other events are planned for the week.
"For us, we really wanted to go the route of doing what we do, and letting our food and service shine for the broad stage," said Manny's Steakhouse general manager Dave Wilson.
Local restaurant Red Cow, which has four locations across the Twin Cities, is taking a similar approach.
"We kind of just decided to keep business as is. We are expecting to be very busy, pretty much the whole week leading up to the Super Bowl," said Michael Giacomini, Red Cow's director of finance.
Both Wilson and Giacomini expect their restaurants to be packed throughout the week.
"We're excited and have been talking about it for a long time," Giacomini said. "This will be a huge opportunity to impact people that otherwise might not travel to this city."
'We're too close'
The bar in closest proximity to the stadium has struggled to plan events due to its location inside the Super Bowl security perimeter.
Erik the Red, a restaurant and bar occupying the former space of Hubert's, sits across the street from U.S. Bank Stadium. The bar's owner, Erik Forsberg, didn't know if his business would operate during Super Bowl week until late last month.
Forsberg was in discussions with the National Football League for weeks before reaching a deal that benefited his business and satisfied the league's security concerns.
"We're in a unique position that we're too close, is literally the problem," he said.
With the agreement, Erik the Red will now be open to the public through Saturday night, and the NFL will host a company party at the bar on Super Bowl Sunday.
Though Forsberg was happy to reach an agreement, he said he would have preferred a better deal considering his location.
"We're going to make money ... there's no question about it. I just was hoping we'd make more," he said.