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Ups and downs: The economic impacts of Homecoming in Stillwater

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Orange Fountain

Homecoming is the most exciting time of the year for many of OSU’s students, but it is sometimes easy to forget the impact it has on workers and businesses as well.

During this chaotic week, fittingly titled “America’s Greatest Homecoming” many essential resources such as restaurants, hotels and on-campus shops receive a sharp increase in customers and demand.

Hideaway Pizza is a great example of this. Having won The Oklahoman’s Reader Choice Award in 2020, its pizza is a staple of Stillwater and its culture. With such iconic food, it is bound to face a substantial increase in service on the biggest day of the year.

Stephanie Termer, a manager for Hideaway Pizza, reported to The O’Colly that Hideaway Pizza sold 2,580 items on Oct. 23, 2021, a week before homecoming. However, a whopping total of 8,087 items were sold on Oct. 30, 2021, the day of last year’s Homecoming football game. That is well over triple the amount of revenue of an average Saturday. Termer concurred that the traffic was substantial, but well worth it.

Joe Martin, owner of the Hampton Inn on Country Club Road, agrees that Homecoming is a chaotic time for his company.

“It’s certainly a significantly different workload than a normal work week," he said. "Homecoming is a unique event and is probably the highest demand for rooms city-wide anytime during the year. It’s safe to say that all rooms are sold in town.”

Martin explained that even surrounding cities tend to be fully booked in anticipation for Homecoming. Martin could not share any specific numbers on the event, but confirmed that he is consistently at 100% capacity during this time. He also noted that his hotel numbers were dependent on how well the Cowboys played during football season.

Vedda Hisu, the director of OSU’s dining services, provided helpful information about their sales during weekends.

“The sales at on-campus dining sites show to be around the same as a regular weekend," she said. "There is much more revenue at bars, off-campus restaurants and hotels.”

Hisu reported 2,000 sales on Oct. 1, 2022. On Oct. 8, the day of the latest OSU home game, there was close to 3,000.

An increase, but not as radical as with Hideaway or Hampton. Regardless, Hisu was happy to provide services to OSU students during these weekends.

She also noted that there will likely be higher numbers during this year’s Homecoming due to the decrease of COVID-19 cases. Hisu ended her statement by encouraging OSU students to work with their dining services.

Ultimately, there is a sharp increase in traffic and revenue for Stillwater’s economy during the week of Homecoming, and according to the numbers, it is likely that this year’s Homecoming will be one of the biggest yet because of OSU's home win streak, less COVID-19 restrictions and America's Greatest Homecoming making its way back full force.