KX Summer Road Trip: Mandan businesses prepare for a busy Fourth of July weekend

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For this week’s KX Summer Road Trip, the KX Team will be traveling to Mandan — where the West begins.

The week of Fourth of July brings in an array of events, and visitors from all over the state and beyond will be flocking to the city.

Now, local businesses are gearing up for the week.

After many events were canceled last year, things are back on track for a family-friendly Independence weekend.

“We anticipated taking full advantage of the summer traffic that comes with the events, and then COVID hit. And not only was COVID hard and caused us to close the ice cream shop temporarily, but then when the summer events were canceled, that really had an impact on our revenue projections for the stores,” shared Dot Frank, the owner of Latidot Scoop and Cappuccino on Collins.

With winter months being slower for businesses, the community depends on the summer months to make up for those lost times.

“Those events are the type of thing that determines whether or not you have a successful year, you know, business-wise…because you just can’t replace them,” shared Randy Ehlis, part-owner of Copper Dog.

Mandan businesses are preparing for this week’s upcoming events and are ready to welcome back visitors with open arms.

“We’re doubling down on the number of staff we have in each location. We’re doubling down on the amount of inventory we’re carrying so we don’t run out. So it’s stressful, but really exciting simultaneously,” explained Frank.

“We had Touch-a-Truck here right before Buggies-n-Blues. We’ve been able to prepare our staff for some of these big events. Now the Fourth of July is the next level, just because of the longevity of it and the number of people we’re going to get in town,” explained Ehlis.

With the cancellation or downsizing of events last year, there was a sense of disappointment across the community — but gratefulness for what they did have.

Morton County as a whole is in the top 12 counties in the state for visitor spending.

Ellen Huber with the City of Mandan says this weekend will give businesses an opportunity to take it a step further.

“We look at events as a chance to put hundreds, if not thousands of people in front of or in close proximity to the businesses in our community. And they know it’s their job to get those people through their doors or into their drive-thru as the case might be or whatever the case might be,” explained Huber, the Business Development & Communications Director for the City of Mandan.

They’re expecting tens of thousands of people to come out to the parade, and that’s not including those heading to the rodeo.

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