Metropolis takes financial hit in tourism dollars due to flooding

Mike Mohundro KFVS
Mike Mohundro KFVS
Mike Mohundro KFVS
Mike Mohundro KFVS
Mike Mohundro KFVS
Mike Mohundro KFVS

METROPOLIS, IL (KFVS) - The flooding in Metropolis has not only affected one major business, it is also taking away tourism dollars.

Harrah's is seeing flooding that has closed the business for nearly a week now. In addition to that, the Fort Massac State Park is flooded.

Those two entities have caused a major drop in tourism revenue that is costing the city from making money through the hotels.

According to Metropolis Tourism Director Trish Steckenrider, Harrah's casino provides 60% to 65% of tourism dollars through hotels on a quarterly basis.

Steckenrider said a lot of people visit the area as temperatures warm up after the winter. Usually at this time the city sees a lot of tourist that visit and stay the night in hotels.

Because of the flood, Steckenrider said a lot of people come into town and see that Harrah's and the state park are closed, then leave town without spending as much money and staying the night.

That's exactly what happened with Jay Hammond on Saturday.

"Maybe have a little luck and see if we can have any luck on the tables but it doesn't seem to be offering much with the flood," Hammond said.

Hammond came to town hoping to spend some time at Harrah's casino. Instead, he was staring at a parking lot full of water.

"I think it's real disappointing to the community," Hammond said. "It's good to know the employees are taken care of at Harrah's over this time. They're not going to lose any wages or anything in that nature but yeah, it's disappointing."

He believes as long as the casino continues to stay closed, the city will continue to suffer due to the lack of tourism.

"I would think it's fairly detrimental for this time," Hammond added. "It's a nice day out, a nice time of the year for people to get out and do stuff. I'm sure they'll recover in time."

Steckenrider said they could see a loss of $10,000 - $15,000 of tourism revenue lost through the hotels because of this flooding.

"It may not be this year but we may come back down here. We live a couple hours up north," Hammond said.

The Ohio River is expected to crest on Tuesday at neighboring Brookport at 53.2 feet.

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