After a tough five years, downtown Halifax businesses say business is good again
Published Friday, January 18, 2019 10:57PM AST
It was a long time coming but it turns out it may have been worth the wait.
The Halifax Convention Centre has been in operation for over a year and while there were concerns during its construction businesses say they are now cashing in.
It was a tough slog for businesses to survive five long years of construction in the shadow of the Halifax Convention Centre, but some who stuck it out say they’re pleased with the result.
“It's been a long wait,” said Joe McGuinness, the co-owner of Legendary Hospitality. “It's met our expectations, actually exceeded our expectations.”
Inspired by the gleaming glass and chrome building, he says other landlords are sprucing up their own locations during the off season.
“The landlord has decided to upgrade the building he's currently in the process of recladding the entire building and it's great to see as everyone invests,” McGuinness said.
Investments reach far beyond the restaurants, bars and hotels .
“For every one dollar spent in a restaurant, $1.85 is spent throughout the economy, suppliers, other types of trades so there's a lot of spinoffs,” said Luc Erjavec, vice-president of Atlantic Restaurants Canada.
Some of that includes new money.
“It's been an absolutely amazing first year of operations,” said Carrie Cussons, the president and CEO of the Halifax Convention Centre.“We've hosted over 140 events and welcomed over 90,000 guests generating almost $60 million of new money for Nova Scotia.”
More construction is on the way. The hotel inside the complex may be available for guests as early as January next year if not before.
The Halifax Convention Centre is expecting even bigger bookings for 2019, in particular there's a lot of buzz around the Memorial Cup in May, with special events planned outside the building on Argyle Street and lots of family fun for hockey fans inside the centre.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Marie Adsett.