Flurry of activity as Cambridge readies

NARELLE HENSON
Last updated 05:00 12/04/2014
Fairfax NZ

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were welcomed into Auckland's Viaduct Basin before setting sail with Team New Zealand.

Ready for royal visit
BRUCE MERCER/Fairfax NZ
FLYING THE FLAGS: Colonial Heritage Antiques owner Ken Sheldrick and shop assistant Margaret Grant were among the Cambridge townsfolk looking forward to today’s royal visit.

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Cambridge businesses are preparing for a big day as guests flood into the town for the royal visit.

Leamington Motel manager Doug Lowther said having the royals come to town was "the greatest thing in the world for Cambridge".

"I have had a few bookings from Napier and outer areas, and people are definitely bringing their families."

He estimated 30 people would be staying at the motel last night, a full house, although Saturdays were usually the busiest.

No 1 Motels on Victoria owner Libby Young had noticed distinctly royal-flavoured conversation among guests.

The motel was at its capacity of 80 people this weekend, "mostly oldies" who were definitely here for the royals, she said.

Deli on the Corner co-owner Petro Snyman said the cafe would be opening an hour earlier, at 7 am, and have two extra staff on call. Snyman usually has nine staff working on a Saturday.

She said it was difficult to know how many people would come into town.

Regardless, she was looking forward to the event.

"I think it's going to be a fun day."

Rouge co-owner Alana MacKay said the cafe would be doubling the quantity of scones and sandwiches usually on offer and she would keep the kitchen open until 4pm. Usually the cafe closes at 2.30pm.

She said "depending on demand" the cafe might keep providing coffee until later in the day.

She would have an extra three staff on, up from the usual eight.

Cambridge Chamber of Commerce chief executive Raewyn Jones said the big message for the day was to have fun.

"Make sure your shop fronts are dressed properly, make sure you are well staffed . . . have a great day, and welcome everyone."

She said the bigger story of the royal visit for Cambridge retailers was "the international and national focus it puts on Cambridge".

"It will make sure people know we exist and are here."

She said the town was getting used to hosting international events, with several high performance sporting hubs located nearby, along with a conference centre.

Businesses were used to road closures, and they were viewed "philosophically".

"It's just a matter of planning."

Waipa District Council said traffic on its website increased 15 per cent as soon as it created a "royals" page.

The page contains information about the visit, including the route to be travelled by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, allocated parking, roads blocked and seating for the elderly.

Interest in the website suddenly jumped on Monday, with 30 per cent of traffic heading to the royals page which reached a peak of 1000 visitors on Wednesday.

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- Waikato Times

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