BARSTOW • Valentine's Day is big business for florists, restaurants and just about anywhere that candy is sold.
The Idle Spurs Steakhouse is turning Valentine's Day into an entire weekend event, offering a special dinner for two all day on Friday, and extending that special for Saturday and Sunday too.
"Because it landed on the weekend, and we thought it would give people that opportunity," Idle Spurs manager Cherie Krack said. "Sometimes people don't want to come when it's as busy as it is on Valentine's Day, but they might want to come at another time.
"It comes with all the normal fixings, and they get a small chocolate mousse heart cake with two little scoops of ice cream to share, and a champagne split," Krack said. "And that runs $45."
Patrons will need a reservation to get a spot inside the Idle Spurs during Valentine's Day weekend, which Krack said is annually a huge event for the restaurant.
"It's always very, very busy," Krack said. "We have to be really careful with the reservations because we get so many people in. We can't even take any walk-ins or it messes up everything."
According to a study by the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend an average of $133.91 on candy, flowers, dinner and other gifts this Valentine's Day, up from $130.97 in 2013. Total spending on Valentine's Day in the country is expected to exceed $17.3 billion.
"Valentine's Day will continue to be a popular gift-giving event, even when consumers are frugal with their budgets," NRF President Matthew Shay said in a news release. "This is the one day of the year when millions find a way to show their loved ones they care.Consumers can expect Cupid's holiday to resemble the promotional holiday season we saw just a few months ago, as retailers recognize that their customers are still looking for the biggest bang for their buck."
A representative from Barstow-based Rainbow Florist, on East Main Street, said the store has "a whole list of specials" for Valentine's Day, including chocolate, stuffed animals, balloons, and "all kinds of flowers."
Rosita's owner Jerry Guardado said reservations aren't required for Friday night at his West Main Street restaurant, but are probably a good idea.
"We're doing carnitas for two, and that's $19.99," Guardado said. "It comes with rice, beans, salad, tortillas, guacamole and sour cream. We have prime rib dinner with all the trimmings for $12.99. We also have a pork chops dinner, of course, with all the fixings, for $12.99."
The NRF study said that men will spend an average of $108.38 on their significant other this Valentine's Day, compared to $49.41 for women. The study also says that nearly 60 percent of Americans buy gifts for people other than their significant other.
Geoff Fisk can be reached at (760) 256-4123 or Gfisk@DesertDispatch.com.