Atlantic bubble not the boon some thought it would be
MONCTON, N.B. -- New Brunswickers seem to be doing their part to support local businesses, but some say they’re not seeing the crowds they expected when the Atlantic bubble opened.
Jenna Cann and her husband Jamie bought Wharf Village in 2017, renovated it and opened in 2018.
The two didn’t know what to expect heading into 2020.
"It’s one of those years where you can’t compare it to other years, it’s a unique season," Cann said.
This is Emily Wheaton’s second summer working at the Wharf Village. She agrees there’s a big difference between last summer and this one.
"We’re missing a lot of tour buses that’s for sure because we used to see them over there and we’d all yell 'tour bus' and then everyone would get ready," Wheaton said.
They are, however, finding success. Live music and food specials are drawing the local crowd.
"We have the largest patio in town and that has allowed us to spread out our tables appropriately, with the appropriate distancing," Cann said. "We brought in live music, we have that three times a week."
Cann says the majority of customers so far this summer have been from New Brunswick.
She says business from the Atlantic bubble hasn’t spiked like she had hoped.
"It does surprise us, being inside of a park," Cann said. "I think it will improve as the summer goes on, we still have a month and a half to go."
The wharf village is more than a restaurant.
Visitors to the gift shops are picking up souvenirs.
So far, adhering to public health guidelines hasn’t been a problem.
"A lot of customers are very respectful of the social distancing, a lot of them do bring their own masks in case they can’t social distance," said gift shop employee Danielle Leger.
As the summer progresses Cann hopes her New Brunswick customers are joined by some from the other bubble provinces.
A situation that could save what has been a roller-coaster season.