The best/worst yet to come
IF Byron Bay locals thought the spare tables at the Beach Hotel and parking spaces in town were a sign they had escaped Schoolies Week bedlam, they had better think again.
The week officially began last Saturday, but it actually spans three weekends and the busiest of these begin tomorrow.
Byron Bay business operators have reported a slower than expected week so far, but believe the next fortnight will pick up.
“It’s a bit quieter, but it’s also been more orderly which is nice,” Byron United president Ed Ahern said.
Byron Bay Taxis manager Terry Pitt, who also runs shuttle buses to town from the Gold Coast and Ballina airports, said last Saturday was particularly slow.
“Compared with the prior year, business was down 30 per cent,” he said.
“We’re over-provided for at the moment.
“But I’ve heard the Gold Coast is down as well.”
Byron Bay Schoolies Hub co-ordinator Nicqui Yazdi said the town might seem quiet during the day, but come midnight it was a different story.
“We have hundreds of schoolies walking through here every day but by 10pm it’s quite busy,” she said.
“When the hotels close it gets even busier.”
She said the past week had seemed slow because it was only Victorian and Queensland school leavers in town.
Tomorrow they will be joined by schoolies from New South Wales.
“This weekend will definitely be the biggest,” Ms Yazdi said.
“We’ll have a lot more volunteers here to cope with the demand.”
A spokesman from accommodation booking agency Byron Bay Accom also said he expected a busy seven days,starting from tomorrow.
“Most accommodation is booked out in the middle week of Schoolies,” he said.
Byron Bay duty officer Owen King said he had not noticed a downturn in schoolies over the past week.
“I think we’re as busy as we’ve always been,” he said.