Raleigh’s businesses, employees feeling impact of NHL lockout

Cesar Tordesillas – 4E Sports Contributor

Raleigh, NC, United States (4E Sports) – Raleigh’s hotels, restaurants and other service industries have been hit the hardest by the NHL lockout.

This was acknowledged by Harvey Schmidt, president and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, who added that there’s real no way to quantify the exact financial impact of the lockout on the region.

The Backyard Bistro, which across the street from PNC Arena, where the Carolina Hurricanes play their home games, is losing between $5,000-10,000 a night with each canceled game.

Stephanie Ianella, assistant general manager of Backyard Bistro, said the restaurant now has plenty of staffers on the books but no hours for them to work.

The Renaissance Hotel in Raleigh, which is where every visiting NHL team stays with the exception of the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers, has lost $300,000 in revenue, according to general manager Richard Rose.

Dave Olsen, the executive vice president and general manager of PNC Arena, said they’ve had employees resign their positions because when they signed on in September the expectation was they’d be working several events a month.

PNC Arena requires about 1,300 part and full-time employees on game nights.

Even the Hurricanes’ merchandise store, The Eye, has many employees dealing with cut hours, some of whom have simply gone elsewhere for part-time work.

“Everybody I work with is either a teacher, a mailman or are government employees, and they need that extra job to be able to get a little more in life,” said Carrie Vaughan, a game-night employee at The Eye since 2006.

The sides have not had a face-to-face meeting since Dec. 13 and the NHL announced on Dec. 21 the cancellation of games through Jan. 14.

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