Conway businesses prepare for busy season ahead of Coastal Carolina’s home opener

Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 5:33 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2023 at 5:34 PM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - Downtown Conway has seen a boom in business, and with Coastal Carolina’s football home opener Saturday night, Conway Downtown Alive does not expect it to slow down any time soon.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen a seven to 14% increase in our hospitality numbers, and we expect that number to continue this fall,” said Hillary Howard, executive director for Conway Downtown Alive.

RELATED | Teal Nation store gearing up for Coastal Carolina’s home opener

Howard said CCU events usually bring more people to the downtown area, whether they have to do with athletics or not.

“It’s been a huge boost to our businesses downtown,” said Howard. “We’re seeing more and more of our businesses align with the university’s schedule to offer special things for their customers, and things that appeal to that university-specific guest.”

Dan Katawczik, co-owner of Crafty Rooster, a downtown bar and restaurant, said football season is always busy.

“We do expect a pop in business, everyone’s always coming out going to the game,” said Katawczik. “They always stop in, usually for some beverages or snacks beforehand, or we catch them on the way out, and we’ll get them before they head home.”

But, both owners of the crafty rooster are also CCU alumni and look forward to game days just as much as their customers do.

“We’re proud to support Coastal Carolina and the Chanticleers, and were very excited to have Grayson McCall back on those Chanticleers,” said Katawczik. “We know we have a big, new team but we’re excited to see how far we go.”

Howard says she expects downtown Conway to get even busier on game days by adding a new Teal Nation merchandise store, which is scheduled to open in October.

“We’re looking for that to become a part of everyone’s game day tradition,” said Howard. “When they come to Conway, they shop for that teal merch, and then they go enjoy the game at Brooks Stadium.”