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Hotelier: ‘we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel’

Optimistic view: Christmas-time at the Hamilton Princess as the hospitality industry sees a surge of holiday dining (File Photograph)

Hotels and restaurants saw a busy week of festivities leading up to Christmas – and hope to see more as they ring in the new year.

Clarence Hofheims, the general manager of Cambridge Beaches in Sandys, said that the hotel held a “well-attended” Christmas brunch for the first time.

He admitted that the hotel had seen “better Christmas weeks” in the past and that admission was not as strong as it was pre-pandemic.

But Mr Hofheims added that attendance had been much better this year than in 2020 or 2021.

He said: “We’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We’re not there yet, but we see a good trend.

“We’re still optimistic that 2023 is going to be a good year for everybody.”

Mr Hofheims said that the hotel would host its annual New Year’s gala and dinner, and have the grand opening of its new restaurant, the Sunken Harbour Club.

He added that the gala will have more than 100 people in attendance.

Milos Damjanovic, the general manager of The Wharf in St George, said that the business was “very steady” before and after the holiday weekend.

He added that the restaurant would not hold anything special for customers on New Year’s Eve – but the staff would instead go out and ring in the new year together.

Mr Damjanovic said: “Maybe we’ll have a couple of drinks over at White Horse or Wahoo, and then go home around 1am because January 1 is going to be extremely busy for us.”

He added: “It’s something we’ve done for decades. I’m been the general manager for about ten years and it always makes us feel like a family.”

Mr Damjanovic said that he expected the first two days of the new year to be fully booked – something they see every year and are very proud of.

Deon Mills, a manager at Flanagan’s Irish Pub on Front Street, said that hundreds of people visited the pub leading up to Christmas despite the rain keeping most people at home.

He said: “We got a little tourist business and then the locals supported us a lot.

“We had the big football matches on for the last couple of days, so that’s helped us a lot as well.”

He added: “Christmas is always good here. People are in a festive mood so it’s a great time.”

Mr Mills admitted that he did not expect the Christmas weekend to be as busy as it was, particularly because of the uptick in Covid-19 cases and a lack of funds after holiday shopping.

He said that Flanagan’s would host a three course meal on New Year’s Eve to sign off 2022.

Mr Mills said that the restaurant, which can fit about 125 people, had as many as 40 reservations set for the night.

He added that the restaurant expected many last-minute reservations to come in by the end of the week.

Mr Mills said: “We’ll fill up – dinner’s always good here on New Year’s Eve.”

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Published December 30, 2022 at 2:45 pm (Updated December 30, 2022 at 2:45 pm)

Hotelier: ‘we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel’

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