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Downtown Vancouver sees ‘exceptional growth’ in dining, entertainment since 2021: report

A bulk carrier cargo ship travels into port as a Harbour Air seaplane flies towards Stanley Park and the downtown skyline, in Vancouver, on Wednesday, July 27, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Downtown Vancouver restaurants are reporting a massive spending growth they experienced this year compared with 2021.

According to a report done by the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, Downtown Vancouver restaurants saw a 187 per cent spending growth in 2022 compared with the year prior.

“Consumer spending downtown has seen exceptional growth in comparison to 2021,” association staff said in the report.

“May 2022 (also) saw a 261 per cent increase in travel and entertainment spending compared to May 2021.”

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The association said they believe the rise in business at restaurants was directly tied to the lifting of COVID-19 mandates.

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“Dining growth peaked in April as the first patio season without social-distancing restrictions brought more customers to downtown restaurants,” the report said.

New businesses are also on the rise as the report said there were 27 total store openings since November 2021, while only 13 stores closed.

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For total retail sales growth, Statistics Canada reported a 5.8 per cent increase in total sales growth from October 2021 to July 2022.

Since November 2021, the association has developed a database collecting information from more than 1,000 storefronts in downtown Vancouver that was used in the report.

The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association is a non-profit organization that represents more than 7,000 businesses in the central 90-block area of the downtown core.

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