© Connor Doucette
Jim Kerr, owner of the Regent Bed and Breakfast, looks over the list of events planned for Amherst and surrounding areas this summer. The area’s new notoriety as a concert scene has caused the local accommodations to adjust to the conditions.
AMHERST - With headliners such as U2, Slash, and now Bruce Springsteen, Moncton has set itself apart as the premier concert destination in the Maritimes.
But hotels in the area are seeing mixed results, some of which don’t seem to match up with the town’s notable venues, as the reservations for the Springsteen concert show.
Reservations were coming in a flurry when the initial announcement was made, but have died down considerably, said manager Heidi Johnston from the Magnetic Hill Comfort Inn.
“They were all gung-ho at the start, but now they just aren’t, and I don’t know why.”
This isn’t the first time this has happened. The recent Nickelback concert brought about a similar phenomenon.
“Again, there were a lot of reservations at the start, then it died down, but then in that same week people just flooded in and we were full. I think the same thing will happen this year.”
Reservations for concerts can reach as far as here in Amherst. Traffic is usually overflow from Moncton , where rooms may be filled or the rates too high, said Randy Thompson, manager at the Amherst Comfort Inn.
“We’re about half full, but walk-in traffic is up this year and I’m sure we’ll be full. I guess it depends on the concert. Last year it was U2 and it was a real draw, we were packed. With Nickelback, we didn’t see a bump.”
Even small businesses like The Regent Bed and Breakfast feel the effects of these large concerts. Even though only three of the four rooms are reserved, owner Jim Kerr isn’t worried.
“What happens is the tourists show up and everything is booked, so they come here looking for a room. It’s really the people who are caught unawares that add that last little bit, and that’s where we get most of our real business from. I’m sure we’ll fill that last room.”
Moncton and its surrounding towns are relatively new to the concert-scene, and are still learning the ropes of how this type of business works, as manager Stephanie Morris from the Amherst Wandlyn said.
“We prepare for it as if it were going to be a full house night, because it’s easier to send people off to try and call them in. You just have to adapt to it. It’s all a guessing game.”
Bruce Springsteen’s show is Aug. 26 , with the next big concert for the Moncton Coliseum being John Fogerty on Sept 11.