Popularity Of Pioneer Woman’s Store Impacting Pawhuska, Other Businesses
PAWHUSKA, Oklahoma - It's been more than two months since the Pioneer Woman opened her store, The Mercantile, in downtown Pawhuska.
And, according to the City, at least 20,000 visitors may have made the trip to town to see it.
The influx of people has helped other businesses, too; and more shots could be headed to Pawhuska to take advantage of the surge.
"We thought that we'd bring people from around, but didn't think it'd be so far-reaching as it is," said Mercantile GM Kurtess Mortensen.
The lines were out the door when the Pioneer Woman's restaurant opened on Halloween; a couple of months in and the lines are still there.
City Manager Mike McCartney said it's generating interest from potential business owners.
"We've had several people come not only to the City, we've sent them to the chamber, to the economic development director," McCartney said.
Spurs and Arrows owner Jackie Wilcox opened the store in 2004, but in the months leading up to the opening, she said foot traffic was rising.
Now she says they're constantly busy.
"We use to be able to take a week off after Christmas, but I don't think we're gonna get to do that now. Plus, we used to be closed on Mondays, but because all the business pickup and people being in town, we started opening, so it's gonna change our schedule a bit but it's good," Wilcox said.
Now that the restaurant is open and business is booming, city leaders say the next step in revitalization is fixing up some of the old buildings. City leaders say some vacant building owners are making repairs to attract potential businesses.
The restaurant's general manager is glad to see everyone feeding off the Mercantile’s momentum.
"It makes you feel really good to know that the community is having the same experience we are, not just us here," Mortensen said.