The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Draggin' Main: Lodgers have concerns about weekend


Local hotels are scrambling to guarantee they have enough rooms to accommodate the weekend of June 23 with thousands of people flooding into town for the Plateau Custom Classic Softball Tournament, the Clovis Music Festival and Draggin’ Main.

John Murphy, the general manager of Comfort Inn and Super 8, said he has worries about scaring potential guests away with so many people in town at once.

“I think when guests from all three entities see how much is going on in Clovis it might shy them away from Clovis,” said Murphy. “When you flood a town, it’s going to be hard to maintain.”

He said his biggest worry is hurting people’s loyalty to the companies by not be able to provide them their usual accommodations.

“It’s kind of a black eye for us,” said Murphy.

Roger Jackson, Clovis Softball Association Tournament Coordinator, said he is worried that the economic impact of the Custom Classic will be smaller this year because of all the events.

“Anything that affects Clovis, affects the softball tournament because we are Clovis,” said Jackson.

Jackson said he uses an algorithm from the New Mexico Tourism Association and the New Mexico Parks and Recreation Association to configure the amount of money being put into the economy by the tournament.

Jackson estimates $448, 875 was flowed into the Clovis economy through food, lodging and recreation last year and the year before when their number of teams were untraditionally low with 109 in 2016 and 110 in 2015.

“A lot of money goes back into this town and that is derived three times,” said Jackson, referring to money being spent on people’s paychecks who then spend the money in town again.

He said he cannot predict the monetary impact of the pile up of events but has seen teams already having trouble finding lodging.

“We don’t know what the effect is going to be yet,” said Murphy. “It could be good and it could be bad.”

Hotels farther from the softball activity are less worried about negative impact.

“Oftentimes we have quiet weekends but with these events we are hoping for a sellout,” said Abbie Virgil, director of sales for the Fairfield Inn by Marriott.

She said they see little softball activity but Draggin’ Main is a big deal in their hotels and they are hoping the music festival will add to that.

She said she is not worried about running out of rooms not only in their hotel but in Clovis in general.

“We have a really good working relationship with the other hotels in town. If we run out then we call each other, generally, and I can’t imagine it would be different this weekend,” said Virgil.

Derek Cockrell, volunteer director of the Clovis Music Festival, said he does not necessarily see running out of rooms as a bad thing.

“That’s a problem that we would like to have,” he said, suggesting Portales as an alternate option for lodging.

Cockrell said he estimates that the Clovis Music Festival and Draggin’ Main will match the Custom Classic at half a million dollars, in a conservative estimate.

“This is the biggest economic of any (chamber) event for the summer, if not the whole year,” said Cockrell.


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