Construction: yay or nay

Raissa Tetanish
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Downtown operators voice concerns about affects on business

Bill King, manager of Duncan's Pub, isn't sure whether the construction on Victoria Street in the downtown area is affecting the number of visitors into the pub. Another business owner, Paul Farrow from the Long Lake Trading Post, said he hasn't seen as many tourists as this time last year and says it could be because of the construction work. Raissa Tetanish - Amherst Daily News

AMHERST - The warm summer months bring about a number of constants every year - both good and bad.

With the construction to the downtown Amherst area, some business operators are concerned about foot traffic, including tourists, into their businesses.

"There are no tourists around," said Paul "Skippy" Farrow, owner of Long Lake Trading Post on Church Street.

"There are very few Americans around. I've seen a few tourists from Ontario and Alberta, but this time last year I saw hundreds of tourists."

The town has been working on revitalizing the downtown area that's seen detours put in place while work has been ongoing.

"Victoria Street at the lights with Church Street has been closed off and on," said Farrow. "I took a look down there today and I can't understand why it's closed. They're working under poles."

At Duncan's Pub, manager Bill King said business has been a little slower than usual but can't say whether it's from the construction.

"A lot of the tourists wouldn't necessarily know we have a back entrance, but the locals do and they will use it," he said.

"Even though there's construction going on out front, customers are still sitting out on the deck when they're working. When they're working it's noisy and dusty but people still go out there if the weather's nice."

King said the parking spaces out front could have a potential of 30 additional customers to the restaurant, so having the road closed at times could have an affect.

But, he also said the work the town is doing is great for the downtown.

"Amherst downtown is beautiful. It's a shame that further up the street there are empty buildings," he said, adding a kudos for the town for trying to spruce up the area.

Geographic location: AMHERST, Church Street, Ontario Alberta Victoria Street

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Recent comments

  • Downtown Brown
    July 13, 2011 - 15:04

    Troy, I'm the same "vintage" as you. What, exactly, was there when we were younger to keep us downtown? Other than the Leisure Loft to buy my Hall&Oates records, I don't recall anything in particular that isn't there now that was there 25-30 years ago. Do you greatly miss Irene's Ladies' Wear or something?

  • Mom Jeans
    July 12, 2011 - 13:06

    Can I be the first to publicly complain about the bump out in front of the TD bank? What a nuisance it is! I hope the others are better placed. Or better yet scrap the whole idea of them.

  • troy thompson
    July 11, 2011 - 20:27

    No wonder there is no tourist downtown, I mean come on what is down there now ? A bunch of run down buildings a few used shops .Loud Rock and Roll music blaring most days that can be heard for miles, Every time we come home for a visit the down town core looks worse and worse and the area out by the mall seems to be the place to go. I for one don't blame people for not wanting to hang around a place that looks more and more like the tumbleweeds are coming down church street any time soon.