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Colorado businesses worried over financial impact of St. Patrick's parade cancellation

Posted at 10:24 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 00:52:41-04

DENVER -- To those in the service industry, the Denver St. Patrick’s Day parade is more than a tradition, it’s money they rely on and time they’ve already spent.

Which is why Steven Colligan, general manager of Scruffy Murphy’s Irish Pub, wasn’t happy about the city’s decision to cancel the event.

“Last year, a large percentage of our business was the weekend Pattie's Day Parade day and then this year, if we lose 15%, where does that put us? Obviously it’s going to hurt our bottom line for the whole year,” Colligan said.

In a joint statement to Denver7, Mayor Michael Hancock and parade committee member Elizabeth Price write, “Following discussions with public health officials at the city and at the urging of the Mayor during consultation yesterday and this morning, the Denver St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee has made the tough decision to cancel this year’s parade due to the on-going situation surrounding COVID-19. The health and safety of parade participants and attendees is our highest priority every year, and the call to cancel the 2020 parade was made out of an abundance of caution to ensure that we are doing our part to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 to those who join us every year to celebrate this annual tradition. We thank the parade sponsors, participants and hundreds of volunteers who put in countless hours of their time to celebrate our city and our Irish heritage. Sláinte.”

It's not just businesses in LoDo disappointed in the cancellation.

Zack Loffert, owner of Rodz and Bodz, says he paid $300 to the city so he could drive his unique cars in the parade.

“I was ticked off. We spent all last weekend rearranging the toys in here to get set up for the parade,” Loffert explained.

Loffert said it took about 16 hours for his employees to get the cars parade-ready. Not only did he lose that money but he also lost the exposure that comes with it.

“This is where people can see us. We get events and stuff booked just from us getting out in the parade,” Loffert said.