Sarah Smellie digs some biz dirt.
It’s summer time and the downtown streets are teeming with strolling, wallet-carrying tourists. For many businesses in this area, ‘tis the season to make a buck.
Unfortunately, the City of St. John’s has closed Water Street to traffic from Prescott to Cochrane in order to make way for the the installation of the Harbour Interceptor Sewer. The street is expected to be closed for four months, according to the city website.
I got a hold of the folks at Wild Things and Spun T-Shirts, two of the affected businesses, to see how this was affecting them.
“Right now we have not been affected, but we don’t yet know how it’s going to affect the cruise ship business,” says Ann Simmons, manager of WILD THINGS at 124 Water Street.
Because of the closure, the cruise ship passengers are no longer disembarking onto Prescott, which means they’ll have to do a little more legwork to find her store. Given that cruise ship days are Wild Things’ best days, Ann is a bit concerned.
Dave Hancock, owner of SPUN T-SHIRTS at 134 Water Street, is having a few more headaches.
“Personally, I think there would be more people walking by here,” he says. “There’s a big steel cage out front, blocking people out.” He says the City doesn’t seem to have any compensation plans for suffering businesses like his and that the timing of the construction is “horrible…summers are a time for people, tourists and that, to spend.” And they certainly can’t spend much if they can’t get in your front door.
Perhaps the most scandalous recent event in business came with the sudden closure of the ZONE 216 right before Pride Week. According to Fabian Fitzpatrick, manager of the Zone, the place was closed down by the Fire Department on account of a dispute between the landlords of the building. No word yet on any re-opening plans, but there are rumours PIER 7’S NOUVELLE ORLEANS will open its doors to the gay community once a week to fill the gap. No word on when that will be just yet, but stay tuned.
If all this treachery has got you down, you may want to head on down to the BRAIN SPA, at 31 Peel Street, the first Neurofeedback and Peak Performance Training Centre in Atlantic Canada. I know, I was as bewildered as you are. But a perusal of their website at www.thebrainspa.net and a conversation with their friendly and knowledgeable staff will be your first step towards serenity and clarity. The Brain Spa was opened in November by Corrina Harris, a St. John’s native who wanted to bring this relatively new technology—which actually teaches you to reroute your brainwaves—to her hometown in hopes that it will help us as much as she says it has helped her.
Of course, if you’d like to blow off some steam the old fashioned way, NUBODY’S GYM just opened up their fourth St. John’s area location in the Avalon Mall on June 25th. It’s across from the Emerald Palace, where the old bingo hall used to be.
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