Bathurst 1000: CBD businesses say they have been busy

BUSY DAYS: Aussie Disposals Bathurst owners Ryan Harmer and Georgia Sloane say race fans have brought in a lot of extra business. Photo: NADINE MORTON 100617nmbusiness1
BUSY DAYS: Aussie Disposals Bathurst owners Ryan Harmer and Georgia Sloane say race fans have brought in a lot of extra business. Photo: NADINE MORTON 100617nmbusiness1

MOUNT Panorama is not the only place Bathurst 1000 fans have been flocking to, with business in the Bathurst central businesses district thriving.

While the official Great Race festival might run from Thursday to Sunday, many race fans arrived in Bathurst last weekend to get in early for the action.

And, while the annual driver and transporter may have brought the crowds down from the Mount on Wednesday, they have continued to venture into the CBD in their droves.

For many, the first stop has been to Aussie Disposals Bathurst on William Street.

Owners Ryan Harmer and Georgia Sloane said while many campers come prepared with all their gear, they often find they have forgotten something.

“They’re coming in for gas fittings and little things like that they’ve left behind,” Ms Sloane said.

Mr Harmer said weather extremes can help to drive in more customers.

“It’s hot this year so people are looking for lighter sleeping bags, hats and stubbie holders,” he said.

And while in town, many race fans are dropping into the city’s eateries and hotels.

Knickerbocker Hotel owner Scott Macallister said his accommodation booked out months ago, and the bottle shop, bars and bistro have been thriving this week.

“Since Tuesday and Wednesday our bar and bistro have been up. Bottle shop sales have been good,” he said.

Mr Macallister said the Super Wednesday celebration was good for business.

Following the driver and transporter parade, and driver autograph sessions, many people stayed on in the CBD to shop or have a bite to eat.

“It was absolutely electrifying,” Mr Macallister said of the post-Super Wednesday buzz in the city.

“In the past a lot of people have stayed up at the Mount, but on Wednesday they definitely did venture into town.”

While Ash Lyons, who owns a number of hotels, cafes, a bottle shop and a restaurant in the Bathurst CBD, said it had been a very busy week.

“We’re pretty flat out, we’re always busy over this period, but this has gone to another level,” he said.

“Traditionally we go close to doubling our takings.”

Mr Lyons’ bottle shop, Cobb & Co Cellars, has also been “flat out”.

“We really try and work a lot at service and the relationships we have with customers it’s very loyal. Some have been coming her for 10 years,” he said.

And, even though Mr Lyons’ new eatery B Town BBQ only opened in mid-September, he said race fans had heard of it and were coming in to eat.

“We’ve put a lot of work into developing it and it’s a great thing that we’re getting good feedback,” he said.

Bathurst RSL Club operations manager Mark Burns said business was up in the bars and bistro this week thanks to the Bathurst 1000.

“It’s better than a normal week. We’re on par with last year’s race,” he said.

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This story Business is booming thanks to thousands of Bathurst 1000 fans first appeared on Western Advocate.