Business anger at Comm Games ‘scare tactics’
THE livid owner of one of the Gold Coast's most popular restaurants has unleashed on Commonwealth Games organisers for scaring crowds away during the spectacle, revealing he would join any class action launched to recoup losses.
Carlo Percuoco, who opened the internationally renowned Fellini restaurant on the upper level of Marina Mirage overlooking the Broadwater in 1996, said this was the slowest Easter trading period in the restaurant's history.
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"I'm p---ed off with GOLDOC and the State Government and local council and tourism (bodies). I'm p---ed off with all of them," he said. "I've never seen an Easter like this."
Mr Percuoco lashed out as Games chairman Peter Beattie - who had previously told people to stay off the M1 - called on Brisbane residents to start using the empty highway again to get to the Coast and support the event.
Mr Beattie also implored locals who fled the Coast fearing Games chaos to return and urged spectators to "share yourself around" and visit cafes and restaurants.
Mr Percuoco said he would be involved in any class action launched over the debacle, accusing authorities of going too far in trying to frighten spectators into using public transport.
"I wouldn't start it but I'd join it. I'd support it 100 per cent," he said.
"The statements they put out and all the projections - I don't know where they got them from.
"If GOLDOC and council and government and everyone didn't play a part in the advertising of 'get out' and had left it alone and just said 'we won the Games' and then shut up, we'd be doing triple what we're doing. The 200,000 people who live here, we wouldn't have lost them.
"Other operators on the Sunshine Coast and in NSW are enjoying booming times thanks to the Gold Coast."
Mr Percuoco said he was fobbed off when he questioned council officers about the figures they quoted in the lead-up to the Games.
"I was asking 'please explain?' - 'where did you get those numbers from?'" he said. "They said 'they're not ours, they were GOLDOC figures'.
"They were saying around 600,000 people were coming (to the Commonwealth Games) but accommodation houses were around 10 to 40 per cent occupancy."