Mercedes Frenger, 31, assistant manager of Gringo Loco Cantina... with her empty restaurant and bar, which is in the prime position on the beach at the end of Cavill Avenue. Mercedes says the Games killed Easter for them. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian
Mercedes Frenger, 31, assistant manager of Gringo Loco Cantina... with her empty restaurant and bar, which is in the prime position on the beach at the end of Cavill Avenue. Mercedes says the Games killed Easter for them. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian

Got no customers? Blame the Kiwis

UNDERWHELMED Gold Coast traders shouldn't blame Commonwealth Games organisers for their business woes - they should blame the Kiwis instead.

And the Cockroaches too.

Many Coast businesses are fuming that the Games has been a disaster, with a much-hyped financial windfall failing to materialise.

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Some traders have even threatened a class action against organisers for scaring locals and tourists off with a campaign warning of traffic chaos.

But Gold Coast Tourism chief Martin Winter said the failure of the New Zealand and NSW school holidays to synchronise with the Games may have robbed the event of tens of thousands of extra punters.

Mercedes Frenger, 31, assistant manager of Gringo Loco Cantina... with her empty restaurant and bar, which is in the prime position on the beach at the end of Cavill Avenue. Mercedes says the Games killed Easter for them. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian
Mercedes Frenger, 31, assistant manager of Gringo Loco Cantina... with her empty restaurant and bar, which is in the prime position on the beach at the end of Cavill Avenue. Mercedes says the Games killed Easter for them. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian

The NZ and NSW school holidays both start this weekend as the Games finish.

Both are major tourist markets for the Gold Coast, delivering a combined 1.2 million visitors a year.

The Queensland, NSW and NZ school holidays all coincided last year but Mr Winter said this year's scheduling has "not been kind to us".

He said the traditionally bumper Easter holidays had been "slow" with tourists coming for the Games opting for short stays.

While admitting some traders may have missed out on Games business, Mr Winter dismissed claims that parts of the Coast had resembled a "ghost town".

"Ghost town is so far off the mark that it really doesn't worry any honest response," he said.

"This Commonwealth Games has met all the expectations we had and we set the bar very, very high. Notwithstanding that, it's fair to say there have been some traders who haven't had their expectations met."

Marina Mirage restaurateur Carlo Percuoco from Fellini says the traffic scare campaign by GOLDOC has hurt his business during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Picture: Jerad Williams
Marina Mirage restaurateur Carlo Percuoco from Fellini says the traffic scare campaign by GOLDOC has hurt his business during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Picture: Jerad Williams

Mr Winter said hotel occupancy had picked up in recent days from around 71 per cent to 81 per cent and tourism officials were "very pleased".

Hotels which had been banking on a Games boom were forced to slash room rates to fill rooms.

"There was never going to be 100 per cent occupancy," Mr Winter said, adding that the Coast's average annual occupancy rate was 71.6 per cent.



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