Shocked South Shields businesses react to Great North Run route bombshell as they prepare for lost trade

Hospitality businesses in South Shields have reacted to the shock news that the Great North Run will not finish in the town for the first time in its history.

Scott Carlucci, the owner of Clifton Hotel and Coffee Shop on Ocean Road, said the change will have a huge impact on his coffee shop which is normally busy with spectators on race day.

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Scott said: “We get a lot of people come down to cheer people across the line and they stop off for a cup of coffee or for some breakfast at the coffee shop.

Little Haven Hotel is still hoping to welcome guests on Great North Run weekend

"[But] obviously there is going to be no one in the town apart from the residents [this year] so it’s not going to be like a normal Great North Run.”

He continued: “It is very disappointing.

"It will have a very big impact, especially as it is at the end of the summer as it is a bit of a booster to see us into the leaner months ahead.

“[But] we were anticipating it would be cancelled so even for it to go ahead would be good, I guess, for the area.”

The Clifton Hotel co-owner Scott Carlucci

However Scott said the hotel won’t be affected by the change this year as many of his regular guests have kept their bookings for the race weekend.

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The Clifton Hotel will remain fully booked for the three days and Scott anticipates the huge numbers taking part and watching the event will mean that people will still want accommodation in the town.

"I think people will still stay here because of the volume of people,” he said.

"We have the same people stay year after year, so we have regular clientele [for the race].

The Little Haven Hotel
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"I think, because of that, that if anyone changed their mind they would maybe find it difficult to get booked up anywhere.

"But moving forward if this is going to be a permanent change then we are going to have to reassess whether our guests will continue to stay with us.”

The Little Haven Hotel on River Drive also says it is just grateful the event will go ahead at all this year, after so much uncertainty during the pandemic.

Managing director, Heather Hollingsworth, said: “We are hopeful that we will still get good business from it and we are trying to look forward and take the positives from it.

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Richard Ord (Snr) with sons Dominic and Richard (r) at Colmans Fish and Chips on Ocean Road

"I am sure that people will still come and visit South Shields because it is such a lovely place.

"We are quite confident going forward. Obviously it is disappointing that it is not finishing in South Shields because it always has done.

"But on the other hand we just have to be thankful that it is still happening and that people are going to get business out of it.

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"We are quite positive about it.”

The Little Haven company secretary, Paula Taylor, added: "We do feel that people will still come to South Shields because that is what they have always done.

"South Shields is the jewel in the crown of the North East which is why it has always been wonderful that we have always hosted the Great North Run.

Great North Run day is usually one of the busiest for Colmans
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“But, obviously in these current times and this current climate we understand why it has to be more restricted.

"We will be ready and waiting next year and we look forward to welcoming the people that do visit South Shields this year."

Meanwhile popular seafood restaurant Colmans says it hopes people will continue to keep their restaurant bookings to support local businesses in the area.

Colmans director, Richard Ord, said: "The Great North Run is one of the busiest days of the year for us.

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"A lot of people book hotels and restaurants because of the finish line so I am just hoping that people who have these reservations still come and support them.”

He added: "The event always gives a great profile of South Tyneside and shows how great it is, which is great for the borough.

"So it is disappointing that it is not coming this year, but with Covid I completely understand that they have to put some measures in place to keep people safe.

“We will just get this one out of the way and next year bring the race back home.”

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