With the news of all spectator activities planned for Arnold Sports Festival being canceled due to coronavirus concerns, many people are left in limbo, including local businesses.
We reached out to several businesses located near the Columbus Convention Center for their thoughts on the partial cancellations. Here are responses from North Market, Barley’s, and Hilton:
North Market | 59 Spruce St, Columbus
“The Arnold Sports Festival athletes and guests have been wonderful to North Market over the years. We know this was a tough call and we completely support the decision made by local officials and event organizers to minimize the spread of the virus.” – Meghan Kwast Brouillette, CTA, North Market Development Authority
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Barley’s Brewing Company | 467 N High St, Columbus
“We understand and support the decision to modify the Arnold Classic format for 2020. The safety of the athletes, attendees, and vendors is a priority. We are thankful that Columbus has leadership that will focus on the big picture and not look at the potential loss of revenue as a deterrent. All of the local businesses will be impacted on some level with the decrease in attendance.”
“Barley’s is fortunate to be right across from the street form the convention center. The Arnold Classic attendees have always treated us very well with their patronage. We have a special menu in place to support their menu preferences. We still expect to see a significant amount of foot traffic over this weekend. We look forward to welcoming all attendees during the convention being part of what makes Columbus such a great city.” – Jason Fabian, General Manager
Hilton Columbus Downtown | 401 N High St, Columbus
While Marketing Manager Presley Burley declined to comment on an individual hotel’s performance, he offered this statement regarding coronavirus from corporate:
“The health and well-being of our guests, team members and all who visit our properties is Hilton’s highest priority. We are actively monitoring novel coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, and will continue to respond based on the best advice of governments, public health authorities, and medical professionals.”
This story will be updated if/when 614NOW receives comments from other surrounding businesses.