MAY 3, 2006
Good sense in Montreal
The Canadian Grand Prix weekend has always been a busy one for Montreal retailers but this year the shift of date created some problems in the city as the race will now fall on the St Jean Baptiste holiday weekend rather than its usual date in mid June. The problem was that most retailers are required to close on the major holidays and that would mean that the Saturday of the Grand Prix would see most of the city's shops being forced to stay closed. retailers say that this would have been a financial disaster for the city because the Grand Prix is the biggest tourist event of the year and a lucrative time for shop owners. Tourisme Montreal estimates that the Grand Prix brings the city around $50m in income for hotels, restaurants, food, shopping, transportation and entertainment.
The authorities have decided not to take the risk of losing that revenue and the regional government has announced that the downtown area of the city will be exempt from the law this year. That is not going to please everybody but it will at least keep the money rolling in.
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