Boom time in Bay Holiday trade

SOAKING IT UP: Paul Attard and Madelienne Anderson from Sydney enjoy Main Beach, Byron Bay, with their daughters Appley, 5, and Octavia, 3. Good weather and record crowds have boosted business figures.
SOAKING IT UP: Paul Attard and Madelienne Anderson from Sydney enjoy Main Beach, Byron Bay, with their daughters Appley, 5, and Octavia, 3. Good weather and record crowds have boosted business figures. Kate Oneill

BYRON Bay is experiencing a retail boom, with record crowds and record sales.

The September/October school holidays have proved a godsend for many businesses after what retailers have described as "a long, cold, hard winter".

But the past 10 days have seen the streets packed with tourists and a long, long queue of cars slowly snaking its way into town.

For many retailers, the record crowds have meant record sales, a number sayingit's been their best period since Christmas.

One Byron Bay businesswoman said she'd had the best September/ October school holiday period in 10 years.

"On September 25 I had the biggest day in sales since Christmas," she said.

"There's a lot of day-trippers from Queensland here."

Local butcher Trevor Mead said he was working "Christmas" hours.

"The streets have a Christmas vibe about them, and that's good," Mr Mead said.

"It's been a slow winter for many, so this boost in trade is very welcome.

"IT'S definitely the best September I've had in years, although one of the reasons for the increased trade is because there are four states on holidays at the same time."

Manager of food outlet Beloporto, Shane Morritt, agreed there was a lot more people in town than usual.

"We are making lots of burgers - it's like summer," he said.

Bob Tipping from Reflections said business was good, but retailers needed a boost.

"It's been a hard winter and we've needed this extra trade," he said.

"I've had a good week, the best period since Christmas."

Mr Tipping said the campaign by Byron United to entice tourists to Byron Bay had definitely been successful.

Byron United president Paul Waters said most retailers were trading well.

"We are up on last year, there's good crowds around and the town feels like it used to," he said.

"Employees are happy too because with the increased trade comes increased hours of work.

"It certainly bodes well for Christmas, and of course, the weather has been on our side."

Mr Waters said the Byron Naturally campaign was definitely having an impact on the number of tourists visiting Byron Bay.

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