PEI

Cavendish Beach Music Festival brings big business, but not everyone cashes in

While the grounds of the Cavendish Beach Music Festival will be booming this weekend, not all businesses in the area will reap the rewards of the popular three-day event.

'Once 5 o'clock hits we're basically dead'

Some businesses offer deals and discounts in the hope of attracting more families during the Cavendish Beach Music Festival. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

While the grounds of the Cavendish Beach Music Festival will be booming this weekend, not all businesses in the area will reap the rewards of the popular three-day event.

Some have to get creative, offering discounts to try and entice visitors. Other businesses have been forced to close early because of a lack of customers.

"I find during the day, it's about normal," said Valerie Green of Black Magic Indoor Black Light Mini Golf. "But once 5 o'clock hits, we're basically dead and all we see is people walking up to the music festival."

Shining Waters Family Fun Park is offering reduced prices hoping to attract more families during the Cavendish Beach Music Festival. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

Tens of thousands flock to P.E.I.'s North Shore each summer to take in their favourite musicians and bands. 

Accommodations are often at capacity and restaurants busy throughout the weekend of the festival.

Attracting customers

But some family-friendly businesses said too many visitors, often ones with children, are choosing to avoid popular tourist attractions when it begins to get busy around the concert grounds.

"The ultimate goal of most guests that weekend is to be at the music festival," said Matthew Jelley, president of Maritime Fun Group. The company operates a number of popular attractions in Cavendish.

Black Magic Indoor Black Light Mini Golf has often had no choice but to close early during the country music festival because of a lack of customers. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

"Occasionally, there's an additional family member that's not interested in that particular artist or that particular genre.... But, generally, you know, most people are in town for that and we understand that."

In order to try and attract customers during the festival, Jelley said he's offering a "family fun weekend."

Admission has been cut in half at all of his attractions, hoping it will bring in business.

Some businesses will close early as the number of customers dwindles during the festival. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

"Between 80 and 95 per cent of our traffic is from off-Island," Jelley said. "Although we really value our Island customers, the difference in the make-it-or-break-it for a good year is based on the off-Island visitation for sure."

Some businesses said when the number of customers begins to drop off, they're left with no other choice but to close for the night.

Green said they usually close down mini-golf a few hours early once the festival begins.

Jelley said the promotion has worked in the past. He's hoping it will again this year.

"We certainly have more people in the park. Our revenue is still not what it was pre-Cavendish Beach Music Festival, you know, 10 years ago during this period, but overall we think it's a win for the community, and for us it's just been an adjustment."

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