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Pheasant season provides economic boost for community

As you drive through town, it is not hard to notice that hunting season is upon us.
Everywhere you drive, from restaurants to liquor stores, signs are up welcoming hunters to the community. And those hunters are bringing an economic boost to the community.

Andy Stanton, director of the Dodge City Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the opening weekend in Dodge City will mean about $250,000 to the local economy.

Hotels in Dodge City were between 86 percent and 89 percent occupancy as of earlier this week, he said.

"Hunting has a huge economic impact on the community, by the time you take in the expense of hotel rooms, eating at restaurants, shopping, purchasing hunting licenses and equipment for the hunt," he said.

Hotels have been gearing up for the opening weekend, and some are even offering specials for the hunters.

Wilson Parmar, general manager of the Dodge House, said the motel are completely booked for the weekend and has been for a couple of weeks. He said during the weekend, the motel's restaurant and lounge will be busy.

"We also have live entertainment and will have tables set up outside for hunters to clean their birds," Parmar said.

The EconoLodge also offers specials for hunters. General manager Dennis Doris said the motel's restaurant will open at 5 a.m. today and Sunday for breakfast.

"We also have a group of people who come in and will clean birds and freeze them for the hunters to take home," he said.

Jill Mitchell, general manager at the Comfort Inn, said the weekend will be good for the local economy.

"It is good for us because the hunters who stay with us are loyal," she said. She added that it will boost the economy because there are not as many travelers during this time of year.

Restaurants and retail businesses will also benefit from opening weekend.

At Casey's Cowtown Club, there will be dinner specials on both Friday and Saturday evening.

Pat Nagy, who works at the restaurant, said it already has several reservations for the weekend.

"It is a big weekend for us," she said.

Cowtown owner Mike Casey added, "It is a big economic impact for us. We will do between $8,000 and $10,000 in sales between the months of November through January."

Mon Yee, owner/manager of the Old West Money Store, said he has seen an increase in sales before the weekend.

"We have had a lot of people coming and looking at guns and ammo and have had some purchases," he said.

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