A St Lawrence Gap nightclub operator has issued a fresh call to authorities to consider extending the operating hours for businesses in the Christ Church district well-known internationally as an entertainment centre.
Herman Maloney, one of the owners of the Cove nightclub which was formerly known as the Reggae Lounge, told Barbados TODAY the Gap today could not be compared with what it was up to about five years ago.
Since nightclubs are no longer allowed to play music past 2 a.m., he said, there has been a downturn in business and not even locals are patronizing the area as much as they did in the past.
“The Gap used to be the place to be. Ever since they start closing the Gap at 2 or 3 in the morning, it’s been a turn off because people don’t come to The Gap until late. The Gap is known for the wee hours of the morning,” said Maloney.
Reporting good business for nightclubs during the Crop Over season when hundreds of people spilled onto the street, Maloney suggested that consideration be given to allowing operators to open later than 2 a.m., at least during this festival season.
“Just for Crop Over recently, there were about 400 people in the street who came out here like 2 in the morning to party and when they got here the Gap was closing down. That is totally ridiculous,” Maloney said.
“You are inviting like 50,000 people here to party, then you are telling them they can’t party. It doesn’t make sense.”
Maloney said authorities should look at the situation seriously since businesses continued to suffer. Also when they speak about tourism, they should always be mindful of the entertainment industry and see it as a major part of tourism, he added.
“We know the hotels when they advertise get different types of people. Some people who come here want to stay up all night or all day. Some people come here [and] want to sleep. Basically when they advertise, they need to be more strategic,” advised Maloney.
“When I go away, I might sleep all day and party all night but when you are on vacation that is up to you . . . You don’t go there for the Minister of Tourism to tell you that you should go to sleep at 2 or 3 in the morning. You go there and you are spending your money and you have a good time. So you determine when you want to spend it, what hour of the day or what hour of the morning. I find here on the Gap, a lot of tourists complain,” he said.
Pointing out that there would always be a need for entertainment, the former promoter said he was almost certain Government was no longer making as much money in taxes since the introduction of the earlier cut off time.
However, despite the downturn in business, Maloney said he believed the Gap had the ability to return to its glory days and he had no plans to shut shop any time soon. Further, he said he would do what he could to draw more people to the location.
“I am trying to talk to a lot of the businessmen here to make it happen,” he said, acknowledging that they had to work closely with the police. (MM)