VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Cruise ships, conventions and concerts are helping Vancouver’s restaurants survive another spring without the Canucks in the NHL playoffs, but that wasn’t the case a few years ago.
The President of the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association says he remembers back when every game lost represented a million dollar hit to the local economy. Ian Tostenson says it’s different now.
“There’s more people living downtown, there’s more events that are going on, there’s more concerts,” he says. “I mean, we’ve got Paul McCartney coming, conferences and conventions and cruise ships. The effect of playoff hockey is not what it was, say, eight years ago.”
Tostenson says another thing Vancouver’s got going for it is the fact not everyone here is a Canucks fan.
“We’re so diversified and spread out right now, so the industry will be just fine.”
He says members of the Association are also doing a better job drawing in fans of other teams like Las Vegas and Toronto.
“Sort of get the hype and excitement, to get that out there and sort of create some local rivalry,” he says. “In one way, you probably get more people out doing that because it’s easier to access, it’s more affordable, you don’t have to buy tickets to go to your local bar, you can have fun.”
Tostenson says all this helps businesses ride out the loss of the playoffs.
“Vancouver’s just so busy all the time, the effect of hockey’s been blunted. Does it hurt? A little bit, but it’s not catastrophic.”