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Cui Bono? Summernats and the Local Economy

By Aurelius - 4 January 2009 63

For years now, we’ve been told that Summernats brings economic benefit to Canberra. So I thought I’d ask the question – who benefits? Let’s try and avoid this thread falling into the pothole that all other Summernats threads fall into, and let’s not discuss the loutish behaviour and alcohol restrictions etc. I am hoping the hivemind, with its finger in many pies, might be able to answer a simple question – who benefits economically from the event?

Obviously EPIC benefits, and the food vendors that operate there. Shell Gateway benefits from having thousands of people next door who clean the place out of all types of fastfood. The servos in Dickson and Watson benefit from considerably increased sales. Presumably the takeaways in Dickson as well. And the cheapo accommodation options in Watson. My partner’s store, which sells car-related product sees some, but very little benefit, but it’s not in North Canberra so that’s understandable.

But I spoke to someone who runs a takeaway in Mitchell – he sees no benefit. Restaurants in Lyneham, zip.

So who benefits? Is your work directly affected, and in a positive or negative way?

[ED – A story in today’s CT suggests even Chic Henry isn’t doing so flash this year]

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63 Responses to
Cui Bono? Summernats and the Local Economy
Pseudo Nym 2:30 pm 04 Jan 09

By all accounts I’ve heard it’s a bumper time of year for the brothels & strip joints.

ChrisinTurner 2:23 pm 04 Jan 09

Summernats drives people away from Canberra and many of us who are stuck here don’t venture out while the hoons are in town. Why not get a proper festival for this period.

Aurelius 1:59 pm 04 Jan 09

Nexus6, Since you’re one of the few offering solid results, can you enlighten us as to what industry you’re in, that’s affected negatively?

nexus6 1:19 pm 04 Jan 09

as the owner of a small buisness in canberra, i can honestly say i hate summernats, its one of the quietest periods i experience.

deye 1:19 pm 04 Jan 09

restaurants in Braddon seem to do quite well. I know the mustang club has a dinner at one particular restaurant each year. When I was walking home on Friday along Lonsdale st all the restaurants that were open had extra tables out.

johnboy 11:24 am 04 Jan 09

oh.. maccas…

IIRC they were certainly the highest grossing in the country for many years on the back of summernats.

johnboy 11:23 am 04 Jan 09

Scottish restaurant in Dickson?

Clown Killer 11:21 am 04 Jan 09

Years ago when the super-cruise used to be on Northbourne Ave on NYE the take-aways and liquor stores in Braddon used to do pretty well. I also hear once that the Scottish Restaurant in Dickson was one of the first in the country to turn over $1 million in 24 hours (although that could well be urban myth(. Now that it’s more contained to Exhibition Park there may be less economic flow on.

farnarkler 11:14 am 04 Jan 09

I’m sure cleaning companies get some extra work too.

PM 11:10 am 04 Jan 09

Canberra is generally relatively quiet at this time of year, so Summernats helps in some small way to prop up the economy (although I’m still against the ridiculous amount of money we give to it).

It’s still not definitive data, but a cabbie mate of mine tells me that Mitchell is very busy during Summernats. I also understand a few of the Civic pubs get a bit more action than they’d normally get at this time of year.

Hotels and motels also benefit.

farnarkler 10:39 am 04 Jan 09

I’m sure some North Canberra businesses lose some income because the usual patrons don’t go there during Summernats.

ant 10:29 am 04 Jan 09

It would be interesting to know, where those vendors at the show come from. Are they Canberra businesses, or do they travel here for the summernats? Anecdotally, it sounds like the sex businesses in Mitchell do well, but that’s not based on any real data. I can’t imagine why people would be busy buying car stuff while here… surely they’d have all that? Unless they need to do last minute repairs.

One might claim that Dickson woollies does well (but does that money stay in Canberra?), but at the same time, you hear that local stay away from it while ‘nats is on.

Golden-Alpine 10:29 am 04 Jan 09

Who benefits:
Security companies
Adult stores
Adult entertainment
Car wash
The staff Summernats directly employ

farnarkler 10:29 am 04 Jan 09

Remember though that a lot of people head to the South Coast during this period so the money made by Dickson and Watson servos must be offset by that which they’re losing by people heading to the South Coast.

As for restaurants, I doubt if some of the summernats crowd have sat on chairs before (John Cleese always knew a great line when he wrote it).

Steady Eddie 10:17 am 04 Jan 09

I’m not surprised attendaces are down. I went yesterday (Saturday) at 1:30PM and was charged $60.00 for the rest of the day (I left at 4PM). That’s in addition to the $5.00 fee to park. All in all a very expensive event.

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