Restaurant owner says UCI bike races are hurting sales

Posted at 12:23 AM, Sep 21, 2015

RICHMOND, Va. – Some restaurant owners say the UCI Road World Championships are hurting business in the River City.

Jake Crocker, who owns several restaurants in the area, said his businesses are down 60 percent this weekend. He said other restaurant owners are experiencing a decrease, too.

Crocker puts the blame not on a lack of tourists, but on locals who he says are intentionally avoiding the area.

Jake Crocker

Jake Crocker

"What’s frustrating right now is local Richmonders are staying away restaurants in the City of Richmond because they think this chaotic influx of tourists -- they are not.”

Crocker has created a hashtag #RVAopen4biz to encourage customers to still come downtown.

However, race officials said the biggest crowds are expected later in the week. And with thousands of spectators in the city, vendors are coming into the city to capitalize on the excitement.

For Gerald Daniels, who runs Soul Ice, he said a prime location like the one he found in Monroe Park is key.

“I was here early, that`s the secret, early bird gets the worm,” Daniels said.

Daniels said if all goes well, the vendors will bring home a win.

"This is going to be huge, even Brown's Island on Friday was great," he said. "It was like 10,000,  so a typical Brown's Island event you might do like 5,000 people. But this is going to be 400,000. This is going to be international."