Red Mile entrepreneurs fear profit loss

TARINA WHITE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:34 AM ET

As Calgary Flames fans eagerly await the playoffs, business owners along the storied Red Mile have mixed emotions about the impending party.

Boosting police presence and clamping down on rowdiness is welcome news to Pam Haight, co-owner of Rubaiyat Studio in the 700-block of 17 Ave. S.W.

Calling the last playoff season "frightening," Haight said partygoers damaged her shopfront and left behind a putrid mess of vomit and urine, driving away customers.

"When we saw the police, we felt really confident that they had a plan," Haight said.

But Haight isn't pleased about closing the strip to traffic on game nights, fearful it will harm her small business.

Haight argued the city should create a more appropriate party venue at the Stampede grounds. "Why do we have to pay the price?" she said.

Kenneth Chung, owner of Thanh Long Noodle House on 17 Ave., agreed. He said many of his customers stay home to avoid the revelry.

Yet not all business owners along the strip agree with the crackdown.

Moe Khoja, owner of Hot Gossip Clothing Co. said any playoff downturn in business is made up for by the droves of tourists who flock to the famed strip year round. "It put us on the map," he said about the 2004 playoffs.


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