CrossFit Games bring big business for hotels

CrossFit Games bring big business for hotels

Let the games begin! Madison is gearing up to host the CrossFit Games. It’s the first time the games will be held outside of California.

The games are bringing people in from all over the world. The event is expected to be one of the largest specialized events the city has ever had. With a lot of people comes a lot of dollars ready to be spent and a lot of those are going towards a place to stay.

“We are probably running almost twice as many classes already and they are all going to be full,” said Barrett Danz, owner of CrossFit Big Dane.

Gyms like CrossFit Big Dane are seeing a boost in attendance with more than 600 athletes preparing for the CrossFit games. The gym is making around quadruple the amount they normally make in a week with dozens of people signing up for drop-in classes.While they are seeing a spike in sales, they are also helping people find a place to stay with hotels around the area completely booked.

“I’ve reached out to my community, my local members that come every day to see if they are willing to simply host people,” he said. “I’ve been posting things on social media, just putting it out there and have gotten quite a few responses. I’ve been able to connect quite of few out of towners with local people,” Danz continued.

The demand is creating an opportunity for Airbnb, some who are charging $500. CrossFit has secured hotels as far as Janesville, Wisconsin Dells, Oconomowoc and Milwaukee.

North Central Group, a hotel property management, represents 10 hotels in the area, most of them sold out last November including one of the games host locations, the AC hotel.

“It’s a game changer. When you are talking about potentially filling out hotels for a week straight! A lot of times when we sell out it’s a night here or a night there,” said Cory Mace, regional senior sales manager at North Central Group

The Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau is estimating the games will bring in more than $7,000,000, according to president and CEO, Deb Archer.

“It’s not just dollar and cents, it’s bringing people who have never been here before who may come back. They may want to move here. They may want to start a business, they may want to work here. There are many ancillary benefits to our community,” Archer said.

The CrossFit games start Thursday and end on Sunday. Archer believes the games will position Madison to be a sports destination and open the city to new opportunities.

“There is certainly an economic benefit but it is exposure that this is a place that can handle big marquee events, can showcase well on TV, in person, it’s an incredibly important open for us in a lot of ways,” she said.