Epic's Economic Impact on Rochester

May 14, 2018 11:22 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Over the past few weeks, we've been telling you a whole lot about Mayo Clinic's Epic Software transition.  If you've taken a walk through the streets of downtown Rochester, it's easy to see there are a lot of people in town for this software transition.

Even though Mayo officially went live with the software update about a week ago, many people who helped with the training will be sticking around to make sure things are continuing as smoothly as possible.

“This is a really good test for our city, to see how we can host this number of people on top of our normal business level,” said Brad Jones, Executive Director of Experience Minnesota's Rochester. 


According to Jones, the most important part of the training was keeping open lines of communication with businesses around town. “The last thing we want is for people to be ill-informed and then say 'I don't know,' that causes frustration for visitors.”

There's no doubt about it. The streets of downtown Rochester have been busy. About 2,000 extra people in town for this training alone.

With all those people, comes a whole lot of money. The Epic conversion has an estimated economic impact of $8.5 million to $9 million.

“We needed to make sure that all of our hospitality partners knew what was going on. We have almost 6,000 hotel rooms so we have the capacity here to do this type of thing,” Jones said.

Hotels are nearly booked out, restaurants full, and dozens of extra buses were brought down from the Twin Cities. However, businesses are loving it.

“It's nice to get people down this way and kind of get our name out there a little more. At least we know to add some people to the schedule,” said Primp Boutique Manager Brooke Beierle.

Although businesses felt a surge, some were shocked to find a bit of a setback last week.

“The Epic training keeps us pretty busy. We saw a large increase in sales up until the beginning of last week. That is primarily due to that group. Starting this week we saw a decrease in sales. We do believe that's because Mayo dropped their appointments by about 30%,” said Chester’s Kitchen and Bar Manager, James Zelton.

The concern isn't too high, as patient schedules are expected to be back to normal soon.

“The staff that was on stayed pretty busy. That’s the kind of environment we live for. The more people the better,” Zelton said.

“We treated it as an opportunity to shine and it was a way to put the spotlight on what we do,” Jones said.

 Should Rochester ever be center stage for an event like this again, it won't be anything less than epic.


Noelle Anderson

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