Hotels and restaurants were the big winners when it came to seeing an impact from Humboldt hosting the RBC Cup from May 5-13 — Canada’s junior A hockey championship tournament. But not all businesses in the community felt an impact from the players and hockey fans who filled the Elgar Petersen Arena for 13 hockey games over the 10 days. Local hotels — the Pioneer Motor Hotel/Motel, the Bella Vista Inn and Canalta Hotel were booked solid for the 10 days the tournament was in town, their rooms filled with Hockey Canada employees, hockey officials, and four of the hockey teams competing at the tournament. The Canalta, which had two hockey teams staying in their hotel in addition to Hockey Canada representatives and other tournament-goers, was booked up for two weeks solid, noted manager Maxine Tebbe. “We were turning people away,” she said, including some of their regular construction crews, who were in town to get an early start on different projects, due to the lack of heavy snow this winter. “A lot of our regular crews had to stay in Watrous,” said Tebbe. They were able to accommodate some of the fans, but not all of them, she added. What does this mean for their bottom line? “Month to date, we had the highest occupancy in the company out of 34 properties,” Tebbe said. “Everything went well. We had two great teams staying here. It was a good time, and a great learning experience for us.” All of the 45 rooms at the Bella Vista Inn were booked up with one team, hockey officials, and some parents. They had no room for any fans until their team, the Portage Terriers, left on May 10, reported Judy Plag of the Bella Vista Inn. The 39 rooms at the Pioneer Hotel were also booked up with one team and some of their parents. “It was a good event,” said Russell Wittke, co-owner of the Pioneer. Humboldt’s campground opened early this year to try and accommodate more people in the city during the RBC Cup. They were about three-quarters full for that time, reported DonnaLyn Thorsteinson, executive director of the Humboldt and District Chamber of Commerce, the organization that runs the campground. “We had quite a few stay with us. Everyone with us was going to the RBC Cup,” she said. “We had Broncos fans and Penticton people — those were the ones who travelled the furthest with a camper.” It will definitely boost the campgrounds’ bottom line, she noted. The reports she has heard from businesses anecdotally since the event are very positive, she said. “They felt there was a fantastic influx of people into the community. It’s great for the community to have a big event like that come.” Thorsteinson also heard a lot from the visitors to the city, about how welcoming Humboldt was, how friendly and clean, and nice to visit. Rookies Restaurant in the Bella Vista Inn and Johnny’s Bistro in the Pioneer were also kept hopping, catering for the four teams, in addition to their regular catering jobs for that week. “It was an awesome busy time for the staff over here,” said Plag. “It will have a nice little impact on our bottom line.... It was an awesome event. It had a great impact on us.” The staff at Johnny’s Bistro did 61 caterings over the 10 days of the tournament, reported owner Carla Clement, between feeding the teams, catering to hockey-related meetings, and providing food for the VIP lounge at the arena. “Catering-wise, we felt a big increase there,” Clement said. “It was good that way.” But with many of the spectators at the tournament staying outside of Humboldt, restaurants like Rookies in the Bella Vista Inn and Johnny’s Bistro in the Pioneer were not busy for every meal of the day. “We felt the impact in the restaurant at supper,” said Plag. Clement saw the same thing at her restaurant — mainly on days when there were two hockey games. Mainly, it was local people coming in, she said, to catch a meal and get back to the rink for the second game of the day. They even saw a decrease of people attending their Mother’s Day brunch this year, she added — though they changed the hours to give people a chance to catch it before heading to the final game that day. The Bella Vista had their kitchen stay open later than usual, allowing people to get food until as late as 1 a.m., which many took advantage of. “It was a good decision,” Plag said. Some of the fast food restaurants in Humboldt did see a large increase in business during the RBC Cup, at all times of day. “We were phenomenally busy,” said Darlene Eberle, owner of Dairy Queen in Humboldt. “We had people in here all week.” They came in all day long and late into the evening, she reported. They even had to stay open later, she said, because they still had crowds in their building at closing time. “Our staff worked phenomenally hard because people were here and they wanted to visit,” Eberle said. “It will make May a very nice month,” she said of her bottom line. McDonald’s Restaurant in Humboldt saw an increase in traffic that week as well. They never got crazy busy, reported assistant manager Paul Cockell — though they could certainly tell when one of the games ended, as they got a bit of a rush. Overall, during those 10 days, McDonald’s experienced “a nice, good steady bump” for all meals of the day. While restaurants and hotels in Humboldt were busier than usual during the week the city hosted the RBC Cup, most of the retail businesses in the downtown shopping area, and the grocery stores in the city said it was business as usual. “For me, there was more impact during the Scotties,” said Lorie Menz, owner of the Cottage Boutique. Menz was referring to the month of February, when the Humboldt Curling Club hosted the Scotties Provincial Women’s Curling Championships. Just next door at Universal Sports, owner Mark Doepker said they had a little extra business during the week. “We had some of the (Woodstock) Slammers come in and buy some things,” Doepker said, referring to the East coast hockey team at the RBC Cup. “A few of the hockey players, but that’s about it.” At Gypsy Soul Clothing, Tattoo and Piercing, the owners said they thought there were a few more people in the streets, but that it hadn’t affected their business. Sixth Avenue Stylists staff gave much the same report as the other boutiques on Main Street, noting that other events in the city had brought in more business for them than the RBC Cup. “We thought we were going to be crazy busy,” said Evelyn Schreiner, one of the boutique’s sales people, “but in fact we were way busier during the week the dance festival was on.” However, the RBC Cup drummed up extra business locally for the hair salon side of the store, the stylists noted. Before the tournament, some of the Broncos players came in to get their hair dyed green, in keeping with the team colours. Right after the tournament was finished, the stylists reported they came back in to get the colour shaved off. The two drug stores on Main Street, Pharmasave and Shopper’s Drug Mart, said they noticed an increase in traffic in their store during the week the event was on, but the RBC Cup didn’t bring in many book readers judging by what Karen Placsko, owner of Between the Pages bookstore had to say. “I noticed there were more people around, in the streets,” said Placsko, “some of them came in to browse, but that’s about it.” The local grocery stores reported that they, for the most part, did not see an increase in business during the RBC Cup. All three stores — the Humboldt Co-op, Humboldt IGA and Extra Foods — said there may have been a few extra people come into their stores, but not enough to make an impact on their business. “We may have seen increased foot traffic, but not increased purchases,” said Tammy Gray, manager of Extra Foods. The Humboldt Co-op reported they saw no increase in sales in either their Food Store or the C-Store and gas station.