With the location set for Beto O’Rourke’s campaign kickoff rally here in El Paso, nearby businesses are preparing and hoping for business it can bring to the shops.
It is expected his rally stage will stand right near the Overland and El Paso intersection, making it right in the heart of many locally owned shops in Downtown El Paso.
El Paso Police and local shops owners spoke about how they expect this will impact the area.
“Along with that, you’re going to have the CRIT bike race, the beer fest and the Locomotive soccer game all within the same general area so people can expect heavy vehicle traffic going to that area,“ Sgt. Enrique Carrillo, EPPD Spokesperson said.
EPPD cautions to people this will also cause issues with parking in Downtown El Paso. Some local business owners, who’s shops will be right near the stage, share concerns over the anticipated tens-of-thousands of people in the area.
“Just to get out to the freeway it would be a lot of problems because it’s too small here. Here in El Paso we’re not prepared to get a lot of people like that,“ David Delgaillo, the manager at Dave’s A Pawn Shop, said.
EPPD says the plans are in the early stages since permits had yet to be filed from the campaign team. However, Carrillo says you can expect to see a heavy police presence throughout Downtown.
“You may see officers at the elevated positions and they may be armed with more than just a sidearm,“ Carrillo said.
Meanwhile, the businesses say this is a positive development for local shops nearby because it could mean more profits from a large influx of shoppers.
Edie Zuvanich, the marketing Director at Starr Western Wear, discussed how they are looking forward to the people coming from the rally. Starr Western Wear is only within a few feet of Beto’s proposed stage site.
“Having Beto come here is just really a great opportunity for a lot of people who haven’t seen Downtown El Paso in a long time or haven’t come south of the Plaza in a long time,“ Zuvanich said.
She said the store will be open and ready for more customers, hoping those from the rally will choose to shop there afterward. Zuvanich also says they do have restrooms open to the public and will allow rally goers to use them.
“Probably we’ll get some customers when it’s at the end of the rally, probably we’ll get some customers, I hope so for everyone here downtown,“ Delgaillo said.