BUSINESSES in and around Huskisson have hailed the naval fleet visit to Jervis Bay a success.
Operations manager at the Huskisson RSL Club, Rita Muscat said the club experienced great trading.
“It was a great day – we were smashed by customers,” she said.
“We catered a special breakfast for sub-branch members who did an early morning cruise and then stayed open all day, and we didn’t finish serving food until 9.30pm.
“The fireworks were fabulous, one of the best displays I’ve seen down here off Voyager Park and the crowds were enormous for that.
“I would say they were five times bigger than what we normally get on a New Year’s Eve. It was massive.
“The food outlets in town obviously struggled with such a big event but they did the best they could.
“The town itself was inundated with tourists and locals who took the opportunity go out on the cruise ships and see the warships in the bay.”
She said the event brought a lot of tourists to the town.
“We always knew Huskisson was going to attract big crowds as it is the major hub of the Jervis Bay area,” she said.
“It brought a lot of people to town, but probably not quite the expected number but it was still a big event.”
Cheryl Stahlhut, the owner of Angels Bayside Cafe in Owen Street, Huskisson said trade was really good, especially in the evening.
“We had steady trade throughout the day but at night it was crazy,” she said.
“There were people everywhere.
“People were all up and down the main street wanting food.
“It was almost overwhelming how many people were there.
“The fireworks were fantastic, we had entertainment out the front and I think people just enjoyed the whole atmosphere.
“It was one of the busier nights we have had. The day was steady but the night was a definite boom for the Huskisson area.
“I think the businesses certainly enjoyed the success of the day.”
She said the cafe was opened from 7am to 9pm, which certainly made for a long day, but it was well worth it.
“There was also a strong police presence and there was no trouble. Everyone enjoyed it,” she said.
“The locals were right behind it. It was fantastic.”
Cafe Supply Jervis Bay also in Owen Street reported solid trade, although they did close at their usual time of 5pm.
“We opened earlier in the morning to cater for the boats going out and put extra staff on,” said one of the cafe owners, John Bunter.
“We opened from 7am to 5pm for the three days.
“On Wednesday we pretty much ran to capacity as we do most busy days. We get to the point where we can’t seat anymore people or provide anymore takeaway meals.
“It was a steady day, though nowhere near the 100,000 people predicted.
“It was a pretty normal busy day.
“I know the cruise boats smashed it.
“It is great to have events like this in town. It brings people to the area and they come back.
“So it’s not just good for our industry but the area as a whole.”
He said they also own and run The Waterhouse Jervis Bay a la carte restaurant and cocktail bar around the corner which was also busy on Wednesday evening.
Huskisson Bakery owner Justine Bryce said her business experienced a busy time.
“Trade was definitely up,” she said.
“It was a good Wednesday. There were also a lot of people around Thursday morning.
“What I do think it has done is bring people to the area and they are taking advantage of the long weekend and staying on in the area, which makes for good consistency in trade and that’s what we are all after.”