Downtown businesses are all set and ready to cash in as they anticipate massive crowds during the Grey Cup festival weekend.
Donnelly Group operating partner Paul Stoilen said they’ve made sure there are extra staff on hand as they’re expecting full capacity in their pubs, restaurants and clubs.
“Overall for the weekend, we’re expecting a 20 to 30 per cent lift (in revenue) at our venues in the downtown core,” Stoilen said. “I think this will be one of the most successful Grey Cups in the history of the league.”
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Stoilen also said they aren’t worried about a possibility of a Stanley Cup riot repeat.
“I think we’re expecting to win and we’re expecting a civilized celebration,” Stoilen said.
“We have confidence in the city and the plan in place to prevent that from happening.”
Charles Gauthier, Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association executive director, said any possibility of violence seems unlikely this time around since it’s a different demographic.
Gauthier said the businesses are excited to host another big event and they’re ready to leave the city’s riot-tarnished image behind.
“It’s an early Christmas gift for them ... especially since it’s also leading up into the holiday shopping season,” he said, adding it also benefits employees since they’ll be given more shifts.
“Traditionally, this is a slower time for hotels as well, unless there’s a conference in town, so it’s really great,” Gauthier added.
Grey Cup organizers are expecting crowds of up to 300,000 people with 30,000 to 40,000 fans from out-of-town, as well as an economic impact ranging from about $80 million to $100 million.