BANGOR — The cancellation of a yearly tradition for sports lovers is causing another revenue loss for Bangor’s hospitality businesses.
“During tournament week it seems like every night is Friday night,” said Andrew Geaghan, co-owner of Geaghan’s Pub & Brewery.
We would’ve been a few weeks away from a big week for the Bangor region, Maine’s high school basketball tournament.
“Really it’s just sad to see it not happening right now,” said Kerrie Tripp, executive director of the Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau.
It’s a week when school is out and thousands of sports fans pack the Cross Insurance Center, but the cancellation of the games is causing a significant hit to an already struggling industry.
“Hospitality, tourism and entertainment has really been one of the most hard-hit industries through COVID-19,” said Tripp. “This is just yet another, kind of, pop at us.”
There are hotels and restaurants right within the area of the Cross Insurance Center that look forward to the tournament and the people it brings every year, one of them being Geaghan’s.
“It would’ve been nice but it’s understandable and we’re going to keep moving forward,” said Geaghan.
He added people from all over Maine stop by from Downeast Maine or Aroostook County.
“We love those people who are our regular customers during tourney week,” he said.
Those yearly sports lovers bring a roughly 30 percent increase in sales to the pub and brewery, the owner said.
“We’re not going to see them,” he added.
Geaghan said that a normal uptick in customers is crucial to getting their business through the winter.
Without the tournament, Geaghan has one reminder to people in the area: “Support local, reach out and help, think about your neighbors and do the best you can to support local and we’ll get through this.”