As the Tall Ships make their way into Boston, it’s all hands on deck for Seaport District businesses as they brace for the estimated 3 million spectators expected to descend onthe area.
Sail Boston 2017 is expected to inject $120 million into the local economy, according to Pat Moscaritolo, president of the Great Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, and waterfront establishments are eager to capitalize on the large crowds,stocking up on drinks and food and preparing their staff to work long, hectic shifts.
The Whiskey Priest, a pierside bar, stocked three times as much beer as usual, even renting a refrigeratedtrailer to store the extra supply.
Just down the street, theSeaport Hotel & World Trade Center has spent months preparing for the ships’ arrival, creating special pierside viewing areas, expanding the size of its restaurant patios, buying thousands of cases of bottled water, and renting temporary outdoor restrooms.
The hotel, one of the largest in the area,is almost fully booked and will have 325 staffers working Saturday, the day the Tall Ships sail into Boston Harbor.Managers will begin working before sunrise and continue their shifts well into the evening, said Jim Carmody, the hotel’s vice president and general manager.
“There’s very little you can compare the parade to; it’s such a spectacle, it takes your breath away,” Carmody said. “For our staff, it’ll be a busy day, but we do big things well. They know they’re on stage, and they really enjoy it.”
Over at Tony C’s Sports Bar & Grill, the staff “have their Gatorade and vitamins ready,” manager Brian Fitzgerald quipped.
Fitzgerald described the preparations as “the calm before the storm,” predicting that therestaurant will be at capacity all weekend.
“I told the staff, ‘If you’re going to take a vacation, do not take it on Tall Ships weekend,’ ” he said. “But they’re going to do very well, we’ve prepared and we’ll be fully staffed.”
There’s a bonus for staffers working double shifts — extra tips.
“Even if you’re not thrilled to be working more, at the end of the day, you know you’re going to be making a lot of money,” said Daniel Cassamajor, manager of The Whiskey Priest.
For many workers at No Name Restaurant, a popular seafood spot, the Tall Ships weekend is a beloved tradition, manager Jimmy Kildaras said.
“They’re really happy; we have workers who have been here for 30 years,” he said. “This is not a new thing for them.”Catie Edmondson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @CatieEdmondson.