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.
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.
"[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.”
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.
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].
"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.
"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.
"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.
“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."