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Downtown business owner impressed with influx from first Mardi Gras weekend

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BATON ROUGE - The first big Mardi Gras weekend in Baton Rouge in two years provided much more than festive fun for residents.

Businesses along the routes, including some brand new ones, took full advantage.

"It was a huge influx in business because of the added foot traffic," Charles Daniel, the owner of Geaux Bike, said. “Not only did it bring new customers, returning customers, but it also gave exposure to the brand and to the business to people who don't normally come downtown."

Daniel brought his business to Baton Rouge in March 2020.

“I had been working to get this space for about 19 months, and then the availability came in the middle of everything going on, and I just kind of prayed about it and kept pushing forward,” Daniel said.

Since there haven't been traditional Mardi Gras celebrations since his business started, he wasn't sure what the past weekend would bring but was pleasantly surprised.

“So many people just coming to rent bikes. You know Mardi Gras is a park-and-walk type of thing, so having the availability of a bike, it allowed people to you know navigate through the parades, go and eat and spend time with family and to see downtown at the different spots. I think it was huge,” the business owner explained.

And for the small business, the impact Saturday alone made was huge.

“I probably saw like 30-40 different customers within that short span of time. Just for the parade itself, I had nothing scheduled, so a value of between 2,000-2,500 just for that one day,” he said.

Now that the first Mardi Gras weekend in Baton Rouge is over, Daniel says he's looking forward to the Spanish Town parade this weekend.

You can find a full list of Mardi Gras parades in Baton Rouge here.

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