City’s sum­mer hospi­tal­ity is boom­ing

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - PAUL MITCHELL

The weather may have been patchy, but city hospi­tal­ity is beam­ing af­ter a strong sum­mer spend up, driven by the holiday sea­son and a solid cal­en­der of events.

Hospi­tal­ity NZ re­gional man­ager Chris Hince said there was a re­ally positive at­mos­phere among the city’s bar and restau­rant own­ers who’ve been kept busy with the holiday crowds.

De­cem­ber spending in Palmer­ston North via Pay­mark elec­tronic trans­ac­tions grew at roughly triple the rate of spending in the pre­vi­ous two years com­bined.

Be­tween 2013 and 2015 the value of Palmer­ston North’s De­cem­ber trans­ac­tions in­creased 3.2 per cent to $164.8 mil­lion. But last De­cem­ber $181.6m was spent in the city over the Pay­mark net­work, 9 per cent more than in 2015.

Pay­mark spokesman Paul Brislen said Kiwi shop­pers’ spending has built up strong mo­men­tum over the past four years, which had swing into a busy pre-Christmas sea­son for 2016 across the coun­try.

‘‘No­tice­ably the an­nual un­der­ly­ing growth rate in De­cem­ber was higher in the re­gions away from the ma­jor cities, sug­gest­ing more time spent at the baches and beaches this Christmas.’’

Hawke’s Bay took the top spot at 10.9 per cent growth, fol­lowed closely by Bay of Plenty, Otago and Palmer­ston North.

Ricky Quirk, owner of five Palmer­ston North bars, said 2016 had been a pretty good year over­all, but af­ter a good build up, cus­tom had dropped right off dur­ing the holiday sea­son.

Busi­ness revved up again last week thanks to an ex­tra day of stock­car action.

‘‘[Busi­ness] has been great with the stock­cars in town - es­pe­cially since we got an ex­tra day with all the fans around af­ter one was rained out.’’

Big ticket events such as Nitro Cir­cus this month, and a War­riors pre-sea­son game in Fe­bru­ary, will help keep a steady flow of pa­trons through the city’s bars and restau­rants, Quirk said.

The Celtic bar man­ager JD Matthews said it’d been a busy Christmas in Re­gent Ar­cade, with plenty of peo­ple prop­ping up the bar right through De­cem­ber to New Year’s Day.

‘‘We’re happy from ev­ery per­spec­tive; we had good crowds, we gave good ser­vice and we didn’t have any­one start­ing trou­ble.’’

PHOTO: DAVID UN­WIN/FAIR­FAX NZ

A big sum­mer is ex­pected for Palmer­ston North’s hospi­tal­ity in­dus­try af­ter a strong holiday sea­son.

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