Impact of Huguely Trial on Charlottesville Businesses
Stores and businesses in downtown Charlottesville paid very close attention when the Huguely trial began to get so much publicity. With talk of about 175 journalists in town for the trial, they wanted to be prepared. But not everybody says the trial is generating extra sales.
A predicted crush of media for the George Huguely trial pushed restaurants to plan accordingly.
Jeff Hale, the general manager of the Nook said, "We staffed a little heavier, we did some to go menus to get ready for things."
Raphael Strumlauf, the owner of Market Street Market said, "Not extra workers, but we're definitely prepping a little bit more. We have been for the last week or so."
Megan Flynn of Java Java stated, "There have been, you know, some kind of newer people, gets a little busier at certain times, but I wouldn't say that we're like slammed all day because of trial."
Market Street Market says its so-called rush time is now in sync with court activities. Strumlauf stated, "There's like that kind of sweet spot, 45 minutes or so, where everybody just rushes right in."
Hale said, "We get a little bit of a rush at 3:30 in the afternoon which is not normally a big time for us."
But Hale estimates, the trial might actually be hurting his sit-down business because busy journalists are going for the quick fix.
"We've seen some of our regulars that just don't want to come down because they think that there's going to be this mad crush of people and all," he stated.
We also contacted some hotels in the area. The Omni reports a bit of an uptick, but managers say they also have several conventions, so the trial might not be the reason. But managers at the Hampton Inn on Route 29 say they have definitely seen so much of an increase that they have no rooms available this weekend.