Saturday, June 29, 2002

Liquor stores, bars slow despite crowds

By Michael D. Clark,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Normally the prospect of 200,000 visitors flocking to the Ohio River shoreline would have downtown Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky business owners thrilled. But not Doug Gallenstein. Not this weekend.

        The owner of Stadium Liquor in Covington is just across the Ohio River, where worshipers are attending the Billy Graham mission in Paul Brown Stadium.

        But where the usual secular professional or trade association with a similar attendance in Cincinnati would make his cash register bell ring merrily, he expects this weekend to be quiet.

        “We won't get nothing from them. Zero,” he said Friday of the crowds attending Mr. Graham's four-day mission.

        Other downtown area businesses, which often flourish catering to adult appetites, are also hurting.

        Alcoholic drinks are flowing much slower at downtown hotel bars, though some worshipers are making up for it through other appetites.

        “They aren't big drinkers but they're big eaters,” said bartender Andrew Upton at the Hyatt Hotel's Champs Sports Bar.

        “But they tip well and are some of the friendliest people I've worked with in a long time,” said Mr. Upton.

        Some regional tour operators were hoping to profit from the Christian gathering.

        Ed Kramer, owner of Kramer Fun Tours out of Portage, Wis., tried to book a tour bus to Cincinnati but of the minimum 22 seats needed only six people signed up.

        Harry Mosher, president of Mosher Tours out of Westerville, Ohio — near Columbus — was able to sign up 34 tourists to take in Saturday night's mission for a special, reduced price of $29 for the round trip.

        “Billy Graham has done a remarkable job of making us aware of our need for a relationship with Jesus Christ,” said Mr. Mosher. “I want to help share that with as many people as I can.”

       Steve Eder contributed to this story.


Click through photo gallery
Audience relishes chance to witness historic giant
Excerpts of Graham's sermon
What you need to know about today's services
Young people find a welcome
Slow donations threaten shortfall
Star of Christian music hurts for her hometown
RADEL: Don't limit your prayers to stadium
Mission Memories
Stadium only one mission location
Bengals stadium shop does brisk business
- Liquor stores, bars slow despite crowds
Complete Mission details in our special section