Lack of royal flush but what an image boost

FLORENCE KERR
Last updated 05:00 14/04/2014
cambridge
Bruce Mercer/Fairfax NZ

ROYAL WELCOME: Cambridge was thrust onto the international stage on Saturday when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the small Waikato town.

Royal visit to Rainbow Palace
BRUCE MERCER/Fairfax NZ Zoom
Some of the large crowd waiting in Cambridge for Wills and Kate.
Royal visit to Rainbow Palace
NZ Governor General Zoom
The Duchess with Bailey Taylor at Rainbow Place.

Royals open Avantidrome

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The royal visit on Saturday did not equal a royal flush for local businesses in Cambridge.

Local retailers the Times spoke to said business did not boom as well as the atmosphere did.

However, the day had thrust the small Waikato town onto the international stage, a move Chamber of Commerce chief executive Raewyn Jones said was brilliant for the town's image.

Deli on the Corner co-owner Petro Snyman said Saturday's trade was just a tad above normal.

"It was a bit of a strange day. We did a little bit better than on a normal Saturday, but we really expected it to be very, very busy," he said.

The cafe had pockets throughout the day when it was busy, but nothing out of the ordinary.

"It was a little bit disappointing, a lot of them just came to have a look then went back home."

Snyman said the atmosphere in Cambridge was "great" and the visit had been a learning curve for the next royal visit.

Leamington Motel manager Doug Lowther said a good chunk of business on Saturday was due to the royal visit.

"This motel usually has pretty steady business anyway," he said.

"If we didn't have the royals here this weekend, it could have been the rowing or canoeing and now the cycling.

"It was a pretty good weekend with basically nothing on, so the people came for the royals." Lowther described Cambridge as an "active little area."

Ground 1 Turf Bar manager Brenda Bright said the visit had not brought in extra business.

"It was a normal Saturday, nothing extra, but there was a lot more people in town."

Jones said the visit wasn't about making money.

It was about promoting Cambridge.

"One day's trading doesn't make a spread sheet, it's more about the long term picture," she said.

"You can't really put a figure on it.

"As a town we don't see it as a one-off event, we see it as a big picture."

The visit was a nice touch to the town's already sterling reputation.

Waipa District Council spokeswoman Jeanette Tyrrell said the council had budgeted $50,000 for the visit.

Tyrell described the crowds that attended as "really good natured".

The council was pleased with how the day went.

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- Waikato Times

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