Businesses thrive as show brings spinoffs

NICCI MCDOUGALL
Last updated 05:00 12/08/2014
barry morrison
JOHN HAWKINS/ Fairfax NZ
BUSY TIME: Lone Star Cafe & Restaurant manager Barry Morrison has reported a busier week.

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It's a full house for the Civic Theatre and for city restaurants as crowds dine out on the ABBA-inspired production of Mamma Mia!

The Invercargill Musical Theatre production Mamma Mia! has attracted thousands since it opened at the Civic Theatre on Wednesday.

Businesses across the city have reported an increase in customers in the past week with plenty of people raving about the show, which they say has created a positive vibe in the city.

Zookeepers Cafe owner Paul Clark had rostered on more staff in the past week to keep up with demand.

He had heard people in the restaurant and on the street raving about the show, he said.

Kelvin Hotel manager Bryan Townley said people from out of the city had stayed especially to see the show and there had been a lot of diners in the restaurant before the show in the past week.

The show had been great for business, he said.

Lone Star Cafe & Restaurant manager Barry Morrison also reported a busier week but said he could not attribute all of it to the Mamma Mia! show.

Birchwood Manor Motel owner and Southland Motel Association president David O'Brien said a few people had stayed at his motel especially to see the show.

O'Brien and Morrison said there should be more shows in Invercargill because events created business.

Venture Southland creative projects manager Angela Newell said events were an industry and usually generated business.

Some people who attended the show would get a meal or a drink, a taxi, a motel and possibly a babysitter, she said.

Southland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Sarah Hannan said Mamma Mia! had boosted business for restaurants and bars in the past week.

The show illustrated the direct role the arts could play in creating a vibrant inner city, she said.

She would support more shows coming to the south if there was a demand for them because they could impact business positively and contribute towards making Southland a great place to live, she said.

The show runs until August 16. Tickets are available from TicketDirect and the ICC booking office. nicci.mcdougall@stl.co.nz

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