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Festival season’s postponement means $700M hit to valley economy

0410 nochella coachella festival grounds

Friday would have marked the first night of Coachella, kicking off a weekend that, under normal circumstances, would have brought about 100,000 people to the valley. It would have been followed by weekend two, and then a third weekend of Stagecoach. All three weekends have been postponed until October.

The valley's festival season postponement means a huge hit to the local economy – to the tune of about $700 million, according to the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership.

At the Empire Polo Grounds Friday, there was no music and no crowds. And people nearby could feeling the difference.

"This place would be a lot busier, the Ralph's would be absolutely packed right now," said Adam Rodriguez, who plans to attend the festival. "It would be a totally different atmosphere than what we have right now."

Despite its postponement, the festival still celebrated it's 20th anniversary with a free YouTube Originals documentary.

This weekend, live music isn't the only thing missing.

"Normally it'd be crazy here – we'd have people out of town coming in; we'd have lines out the door," said Courtney Dboracek, manager at Mario's Italian Cafe in La Quinta – just a block from the festival grounds. She says the business is losing the Coachella crowds they depend on every year.

"We're doing takeout only and it's just it's affected everybody dramatically here," Dboracek said.

She hopes business will return with the festival this October.

"Hopefully that'll bring in a good amount of people and we'll be able to make up for some of the business we're losing now," she said.

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


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