Manhattan businesses, officials discuss impact of Country Stampede’s move

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Army Corp increases water released, KSNTs exclusive aerial view of Tuttle Creek

Kicker Country Stampede decided to make the move out of Manhattan and into Topeka on Friday. 

This comes after flooding concerns at Tuttle Creek State Park. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers increased the water release to 30,000 cubic feet per second that same day. 

The lake’s elevation is stabilizing, but Emergency Manager Pat Collins says some areas are still under an evacuation advisory. 

The event would normally bring a quieter Manhattan to life in the summer, but will now be held an hour away.

Manhattan’s assistant city manager Dennis Marstall said the city estimates a loss of almost $8 million in revenue. 

“We clearly understand the current situation probably with the rise of Tuttle Creek lake wasn’t the best venue this year, but we look forward to them coming next year,” said Marstall, as they still plan to host the festival in 2020. 

Beer Goggles is the closest liquor store to Tuttle Creek State Park. They call Country Stampede weekend the Fake Patty’s event of the summer.

“We lose a lot of money when the kids go home for school, so this definitely helps us get through the summer before they get back,” said Chris Robinson, the stock manager at Beer Goggles.  

While some hotels tell KSNT News that their rooms are non-refundable and plan to book their remaining rooms for other reasons, others still let their guests cancel just 48 hours in advance. 

“We also have a lot of people, I think 200 employees who were part-time or full time for Stampede who won’t be working,” said Marstall. 

Kicker Country Stampede is helping some of those employees from Manhattan continue to work at the new venue in Topeka, but Marstall said there will also be several people losing work as the concert moves locations.

“When you have over 30,000 people in town over 3 days that’s a significant impact, but also you think about even Uber drivers who won’t be driving over the course of Stampede,” said Marstall. 

The owner of R.C. McGraws who is helping cater the event plans to continue working with the event in Topeka as well. 

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