Riverboat cruises are bringing a big boost to Hannibal’s summer tourist season.
Tim DeJaynes, owner of Paddlewheel Popcorn and Candy Off Main street in Hannibal, was up early Friday to deliver an order to the American Queen paddle steamer docked in town Friday.
"It was a very large order, they ordered 500 bags of our gourmet popcorn," said DeJaynes, who also said the order brought around a thousand dollars into his business, and helps his brand get recognition outside of Hannibal, "they were interested in our historic Tom Sawyer, our caramel corn, and out Becky Thatcher which is a vanilla [flavored]."
The Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau said that Paddlewheel Popcorn isn’t the only business that gets a big boost from visitors off the boat
According to Megan Rapp of the HCVB, the American Queen’s docking this week is one of around 30 boat dockings in Hannibal this year, all of which bring visitors who spend money in Hannibal.
"That boat holds over 400 passengers, even the smaller boats hold over a hundred fifty people," said Rapp, "so you get a lot of people into these attractions as well as downtown shops."
"As you’ve seen today, not only is the paddle boat full, but they bring in busload after busload of people, and they may be docked for hours," said DeJaynes, "the individuals that are off the boat they want something to do for those hours so they’ll wander the streets of Hannibal and visit many of the shops, it’s definitely a stimulus to our business."