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Horseshoe Bay businesses pick up as BC Ferries resumes sailings

Last Updated Jun 3, 2020 at 3:12 pm PDT

FILE -- A B.C. Ferry is seen arriving at Horseshoe Bay near West Vancouver on March 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The four sailings were added between the mainland and Vancouver Island Wednesday

Some business owners say things are picking up

COVID-19 shutdowns initially dried up business when sailings stopped

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Horseshoe Bay business owners got a welcome relief Wednesday as sailings partially resumed between West Vancouver and Departure Bay.

The four added sailings between the mainland and Vancouver Island mean there will be a lot more foot traffic next to the terminal.

“The last two months, it has been a lot quieter,” says Blenz owner Alf Haley, noting an immediate 40 to 50 per cent downturn in business when BC Ferries suspended the route on April 3.

Haley adds that things are not fully back to normal for the café, but he has started to notice the faces of regular customers again.

“A lot of them come in thinking we’ve been closed the whole time because they haven’t been coming back and forth the whole time.”

Paula Velazquez from Good Karma Café says there were more people in her shop Wednesday when sailings resumed between Vancouver and Nanaimo.

“The business has been busier, just in general,” says Velazquez.

She adds that the usual rush before sailings had dried up over the past two months, but Wednesday saw a steady increase in business.

While owners hope this trend continues, BC Ferries is still operating sailings at 50 per cent capacity.

-With files from Tim James