BY Tim Schmitt
The foghorn at HSBC Arena wasn’t the only thing Rob Szpilewski liked hearing on Sabres game nights.
The owner of the Ski Lodge on Niagara Street in Lockport enjoyed the ringing of his cash registers any time the team played during its Presidents’ Trophy-winning season.
“The best way to put it is the last two years, this was an event. Nobody missed a game. People calling each other to find out where they’d be watching the game,” Szpilewski said. “Now, people are finding other things to do with their time. A lot of the people that were out last year aren’t showing up. They’re disappointed about the team.”
Szpilewski isn’t alone in watching profits fall with the team’s win total. Local businesses aren’t buzzing like they were during last year’s playoff run. The economic effect might be just a ripple, but it’s one that has a significant impact on small businesses.
“Anybody who has the games on, whether it’s restaurants, bars, I think everybody is taking a hit. I still have some diehards that show up for every game, but last year it was such a hyped thing,” Szpilewski said.
Bob Travis of Niagara Falls delivers pizzas two or three nights a week. Although he played hockey at Niagara Falls High School, he said he’s not much of a Sabres fan. Still, Travis’ tips take a significant hit when the team is struggling.
“The Sabres are losing fans, that’s all there is to it,” Travis said. “I can see it when I go into peoples’ houses. It used to be they’d be all dressed up and you knew a game night was going to be busy. Not now.”
And even the loss of specific players can be important to some businesses. Adam Martin, who owns Dave and Adam’s Card World in Tonawanda with Dave Silver, said he got a call from Brian Campbell the morning the all-star defenseman was dealt to San Jose.
BY Tim Schmitt
- Local News
- Fallen tree highlights DPW limitations When Ronald Capone saw the massive tree felled in his yard Tuesday night the first thought he had was that his 13-year-old son could have been trapped underneath if the tree had fallen earlier.
- Police tribute: Group will place makers to honor six Falls cops that died in line of duty Their names are inscribed on a stone memorial that sits in front of Falls Police headquarters.
- Slow regional job growth continues Job growth in the region continued at a slow but steady pace in March, as the Buffalo Niagara Falls metro area adding 3,200 jobs -- with all but 100 of them in the private sector -- over the previous 12 months, the state Labor Department reported Thursday.
- Man accused of killing Kenmore bar owner appears in court Antonio Martin-Brown, the man accused of killing Malone's owner Vincent Cottone, appeared in Erie County Court on Thursday to schedule his non-jury trial, now set for June 24.
- NCCC alumni nominees sought
- Local leaders want another meeting with Eastern Niagara Hospital officials Community leaders are asking Eastern Niagara Hospital officials for a few things, among which include a request for a second meeting between the two sides.
- Deal in the works for Pine Avenue pawn shop owner Lawyers for the city and a Pine Avenue pawn shop owner are attempting to settle charges that accuse him of operating without a license.
- NYPA-backed consultant to determine cost of moving Old Stone Chimney The New York Power Authority is moving forward with plans to move a Portage era relic when it begins work on a major project in Niagara Falls.
- NCCC officials partnering with IDA for 'Start Up NY' Niagara County Community College officials are hoping to become the latest in a growing list of schools in the region to be part of a state tax abatement program.
- NYPA cites role in Yahoo expansion in its annual report New York Power Authority allocations to companies within 30 miles of the Robert Moses Plant in Lewiston helped secure some 1,100 jobs and $500 million in capital investments during the past year.
- More Local News Headlines