Giant event for Limerick’s traders

Limerick retailers and hoteliers are gearing up for a business bonanza worth in the region of €20m-€30m this weekend as the biggest event of the year rolls into town.

Giant event for Limerick’s traders

The world-renowned Royal de Luxe street theatre company’s Giant Granny will roam the streets of Limerick from today until Sunday as the showpiece of the City of Culture calendar.

With up to 200,000 visitors expected to experience the theatrical extravaganza, businesses in the city are set for a major cash windfall.

Sales and marketing manager at the city’s Clarion Hotel, Elaine Ryan, is expecting the occasion to provide a significant boost to business, the hotel having been home to its artistic director, Jean Luc Courcoult for the past number of weeks. “We’re almost full for the weekend, it has certainly increased business. The giant is sailing past us here and we’ve one of the best views in the city so we’ll be expecting plenty of people to come and watch the giant’s journey, and a big increase in food and beverage trade... it could be worth in the region of a couple hundred thousand to us,” said Ms Ryan.

Fellow hoteliers are also anticipating a lucrative weekend. Absolute Hotel general manager Donnacha Hurley said: “Demand over the weekend is certainly stronger than usual, you’d certainly notice a big event is on. This is a phenomenal opportunity for the city and we’ll definitely be expecting a big increase in food and beverages over the weekend as families are in and out. It’s hard to estimate just how many will turn up.”

The event, which will see the 7.5 metre-tall grandmother roam the city’s streets from her arrival point at the Irish rail depot at Roxboro Road to her departure at Sarsfield Bridge on Sunday, will bring a bit of heart back into the city and give retailers a much-needed shot in the arm, according to Limerick City of Culture arts and culture director, Mike Fitzpatrick.

“This is a project that will allow people to believe that perceptions can change and make Limerick an attractive place to go again. I’m hoping the traders have a great time over the weekend,” he said.

In July, the granny attracted 1.5m spectators on her second visit to Liverpool, generating more than £32m for the local economy.

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