Hatbox: A Modern Haberdashery in downtown Austin usually has 500 guests a week coming through the store. During the South by Southwest conference, commonly referred to as SXSW, the shop gets more than 1200 guests a day.
For small-business owners in Austin, March, when SXSW attendees flood the city, is a second December: Another chance to make record profits for the year.
Starting Friday and running through March 18, the SXSW Conference and Festivals draws music lovers, movie buffs and technophiles from across the world. 2017 will be the 31st anniversary of the festival, which last year drew a record 87,971 registrants.
For a city with just shy of a million residents, that's a lot of visitors. And many of them come ready to spend.