Auburn Auction Boosts Local Economy, But Some Miss Out

By John W. Davis

September 5, 2011 Updated Sep 5, 2011 at 10:29 PM EDT

AUBURN, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Since the economy took a downward spiral - things have been a little shaky in Auburn, said one Auburn hotel employee.

"Basically just keeps us going. It's something we can plan on every year and we enjoy seeing the people come back year after year," said Holiday Inn Express Front Desk Clerk Shelley Mack.

Meanwhile, with more than 40-thousand people attending the classic car auctions most businesses, especially restaurants cashed in.

"Double our business. We do 2 weeks in a matter of one week. Friday and Saturday alone is usually one week's worth of business as far as numbers go," said Mad Anthony Tap Room Front House Manager Troy Kosmatka.

However, Mad Anthony's is one mile off the Highway.

It is also a few miles away from the auctions but sometimes "different" is what customers want.

"We're just a different type of restaurant that is not a chain restaurant that's out by the highway and stuff like that. We're a little bit different so people come searching for restaurants like that," continued Kosmatka.

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday most Auburn hotels needed signs saying, "no room at the inn".

"A lot busier this year than it has been the last couple of years. Things seem to be getting back to normal," added Mack.

Overall, most hotels we stopped in were at least sold out Thursday and Friday night.

However, Indiana's NewsCenter found one restaurant that didn't fair as well.

"We were expecting like a big crowd from the auction. But we didn't even feel it. It was just a normal week," said Cebolla's Mexican Grill Manager Carlos Valencia.

"We even had extra people, extra staff on the floor to be prepared for that event. But nope, we didn't get very much business from the auction," explained Valencia.

Valencia said maybe it's the economy or his location on the less traveled side of I-69.

"It didn't really impact us at all. Next year we will probably just take it as a regular day of the week," concluded Valencia.

Meanwhile, Hotels won't be taking any chances. They're already booking rooms for next Labor Day.

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