Busy Milwaukee weekend exceeds economic expectations

Businesses in downtown Milwaukee took a deep breath Sunday night following a busy weekend of basketball and celebrations. 
 
Visit Milwaukee estimated that the economic impact would reach $6 million. On Sunday night, the organization said it's safe to say it went above that number. 
 
Many local businesses said they had a very successful weekend. 
"It was mostly people from the hotels, a lot of Butler fans came in, Iowa State fans," said Ryan Cooke, the bar manager at Milwaukee Brat House. 
 
He said this weekend's crowds easily made up for a slow February. 
 
"It definitely made up for it ," said Cooke. "February gave us time to plan for this and we were able to just hit the ground running." 
The BMO Harris Bradley Center saw more than 55,000 fans over a three day period for NCAA basketball games. Mix that with St. Patrick's Day celebrations and Mader's Valet Attendant Brian Schewe said it was one of his busiest weekends. 
 
"I mean there were so many people once it started around 4:00, 4:15, people in bunches of 50 at a time were walking down the sidewalk," said Schewe. 
 
Visit Milwaukee says it plans to spend the next several days calculating the exact economic impact from this weekend and expects to have updated numbers next week. 
 
"Any chance we could get to get people to come into Milwaukee is great," said Cooke. "To get them to have a good experience and come on back."
 
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