The NHL lookout is taking its toll on fans, but it’s also taking a bite out of business for many retail and food and beverage establishments in Canadian cities.
A report from the debit card company Moneris estimates bars near Canadian NHL rinks have lost 35 per cent of their business because of the lockout.
Jamie Lefley, who manages Lounge Burger in Calgary, says this winter isn’t the same.
"Wall to wall ... drinks, food, wait-list ... and that's all before the game and then as soon as the game starts everyone leaves," Lefley says in describing nights when the Calgary Flames are playing. "And then after the game, the whole crowd comes back afterwards. Now on Saturdays we have a dinner rush — that's about it."
Lefley says, unlike the past, she hasn’t been hiring extra staff for the hockey season.
To make up for the losses in business, she says they have booked more Christmas parties this year.
Things aren't much better at the Elbow River Casino on Macleod Trail.
Food and beverage manager Jordan Knox says they usually get a lot of traffic back and forth before and after the game.
"There's been a huge effect on our business," Knox said. "We've lost about $4,300 a day on average that there would have been hockey."
Knox estimates if the entire season is cancelled, the casino will lose about $250,000 in food and beverage sales.