Derby brings business, bucks to shops on both sides of the river - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Derby brings business, bucks to shops on both sides of the river

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Jessica Moreland Jessica Moreland
Jill Higginbotham Jill Higginbotham
Jeff Moutett Jeff Moutett

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's not just horses that spring from the gates on Derby. You can also place your bets on local businesses.

"Derby is probably our busiest time of the year," said Jessica Moreland, the owner of Sassy Fox upscale consignment store.

The search for hats, jewels and shoes helps the store see the spike first hand.

"Above even just our busiest time of the year, probably a 25 percent increase, just right before Derby," Moreland explained.

The Chamber of Commerce said the Derby brings home the prize bringing in $128 million to Louisville and surrounding areas. That's a blow out in terms of economic impact.

"We have people that come and get their work done for the Derby and Oaks which is kind of cool," J Michael's Sap & Salon owner Jill Higginbotham said. "We end up doing about 20 percent over what we do in an average week, at the very least."

Forbes says Kentucky's horse racing is now a $3 billion industry, but some business owners across the river feel the ripple effects too.

"I'm not sure what it is, but it's always a cigar for Derby," Riverside Cigars & Lounge owner Jeff Moutett said.

The cigar shop in Jeffersonville serves many out-of-towners.

"Historically in the last three years, April and May have been our best months," Moutett said.

A specific cigar kept in a glass cabinet is only sold at the shop three times a year - Father's Day, Christmas and the Kentucky Derby.

With a jump in sales, Derby means much more to some than just a race. "It holds a special place in our hearts for sure," Moutett said.   

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