Windsor business owners happy about the return of NHL hockey
A new tentative agreement between the NHL players and owners is welcoming news for many local businesses, but it's a different story for fans in the Rose City.
Windsor businesses are gearing up for the shortened season, even though the deal still needs to be ratified.
“I'm happy it's back,” says fan John Peck. “Being a Canadian it's our national sport, and everyone enjoys it."
OHL fan Wayne Kisil feels differently.
“I'm going to boycott it for the rest of the year,” says Kisil. “No intention of watching hockey at all. Spitfires, that's about it.”
Many hockey fans have the same mindset.
As a hockey coach, Jeff Glen says a shortened season isn't worth it.
“When you hear about a 48 game schedule you feel even more ripped off," says Glen.
Nearly three and a half months of on-and-off negotiations between the league and players association saw hundreds of games cancelled.
Operators of local bars and restaurants, including The Dugout owner in downtown Windsor, say the lockout didn't help their bottom line.
“Thankfully the holidays came around recently to help out,”says The Dugout owner Derek Farrugia. “But definitely we lost a little bit of business."
Across town, Bob Reaume Sports owner, Bob Reaume, took a gamble and ordered in inventory ahead of the hockey season. He says other sporting franchises have helped keep his business afloat.
“That will pay off to a degree because we do have some product,”says Reaume. “We'll have to look to fill in more, but at least we have some to get us going anyway.”
With the NHL back owners at The Dugout are looking to add up to five employees throughout the week.
“We will be putting a little bit of extra staff on, having a little bit extra inventory, we'll be running our usual hockey specials now that the NHL is back," says Farrugia.
Transit Windsor will also step in with extra tunnel bus service. They too saw a loss in revenue as negotiations dragged on. There will be an additional five buses to Joe Louis Arena.
“That revenue comes back to pay for the expenses of putting those extra buses out there," says Patrick Delmore, director of operations, Transit Windsor.