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People not flocking to downtown Wilmington for New Years

Downtown Wilmington
Downtown Wilmington(WECT)
Published: Dec. 31, 2020 at 8:56 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - In New Years’ past, it would be almost impossible to find a hotel room the day of in downtown Wilmington.

That’s not the case this year in downtown Wilmington. More than half the room at the Courtyard will be empty.

“Compared to last year our occupancy is definitely down,” said manager Megan Barker. “I was here last year and across the street the club the bars they were all full. There are people calling and asking hey what’s going on downtown. Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for them.”

The bar Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is open and serving, but instead of getting ready for a packed house of more than 150 like in years past. Owner Joseph Aperfine preparing for something much smaller.

“There is a little private event we’re doing,” said Aperfine. “But it’s only gonna be 10 people. It’s really just to keep the lights on. It’s a huge change from last year for sure.”

While business is down for hotels and bars, that’s not the case for restaurants. At Elijah’s, there are not tables available.

We’ve been fully booked since yesterday for our New Year’s Eve reservations inside and outside,” said General Manager Vincent Drayton. “We are very fortunate to have A lot of outdoor seating. A lot of our guests prefer to be outside right now.”

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