Retailers frustrated at the cycling's impact on business

Ballarat businesses will today begin calculating  income losses caused  by the road closures for yesterday’s Australian Road Cycling Championships time trial.

Owner of the Park Hotel on Sturt Street, Simon Whiting, said the event had a huge impact on businesses along the Alfredton end of Sturt Street.

“We’re in favour of the event, the whole lot of us; it’s good for Ballarat, but it’s been disaster for most of us,” he said.

“They (the organisers) have got to look at the impact on businesses. My concern is that if it’s going to be an annual event, they need to have a bit more thought about where they put it. This is just not a good spot.”

By 1.30pm yesterday, Mr Whiting said the hotel had just eight people come in, most of whom were marshals needing to use the bathroom.

“It’s just ridiculous. It’s a lot of money we’re losing when you consider we normally do 70 or 80 lunches on a Wednesday and we’ve done two,” he said.

“It’s all well and good to say good things about the event but someone’s got to speak up for the businesses.”

Mr Whiting said he would investigate the possibility of compensation for his losses.

George Sossi, director of Ballarat Regional Tourism who controls the road closures, said the disruptions were minimised as much as possible.

BRT is expecting the five-day event to bring 15,000 visitors and an economic benefit of $3.7 million to Ballarat.

Editorial Page 13

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