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Millennium Anti-Climax On Its Way

A Coventry licensee has warned people that Millennium New Year’s Eve could be a "massive anti-climax" with pubs being unable to afford to open.

Ray Hoare, president of the Coventry Licensed Victuallers’ Association, believes that as many as 30% of pubs in Coventry and Warwickshire may close completely for the night.

Mr Hoare, the licensee from the Greyhound pub at Sutton Stop, admits that after doing his sums on outgoing costs, he has realised that it will be very difficult to make any profit.

He said:

"People are talking about silly money for everything and this night has been built up by everyone over the past few months, apart from the people that matter – the licensees.

"If you are talking about paying bar staff, door staff and glass collectors then it becomes a matter of economics, and I think that at least 30% of pubs will not open.

"Another huge problem is going to be taxis, so any places that are out of town will suffer because people will not be able to get out and back.

"There have been some ridiculous figures banded around like £6-a-mile for a cab and I just don’t believe anybody is going to pay that.

"I am going to be open on that night but I will be working by myself and it will be a very low-key affair – I think anything outside the city centre will be."

Browns Café Bar and Restaurant owner Ken Brown, who is closing his premises at 6pm on New Year’s Eve echoed this view.

He said:

"We have always struggled to get a team of staff to work on that night, but this one is even worse and there is no way we can manage it – nobody wants to work.

"I think there are a lot of people trying to make a quick buck out of the Millennium night but it is all being over hyped in the same way as the eclipse."

And the owner of the Earl Street bar believes that the city centre will not be as busy as people think.

"A lot of people are just going to stay at home this year. I have just decided to give my staff the night off, it will be the first time I haven’t worked on New Year’s Eve for 30 years so I won’t know what to do with myself."

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CWN / Tourism & Leisure / Organisations / Coventry Licensed Victaullers' Association / 14 Sep 99

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