Businesses receiving good feedback from NHL draft visitors

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s back to business as usual for many establishments around the city after what they say was a very busy draft weekend.

“We were completely booked,” said Orchun Turkay, the Food and Beverage Director for The Marriott at Haborcenter.

“We served a record number of people Friday,” said Jason Barrett, the General Manager for 716. “It was the busiest day since we opened.”

The bar and restaurant opened about a year and a half ago and Friday was their busiest day to date, serving several thousand people and doing sales with totals in the tens of thousands of dollars.

“It was an amazing week,” said Barrett.

The initial estimate for total financial impact is around $9.2 million.

“That doesn’t include the fan base,” said Patrick Kaler, the president for Visit Buffalo Niagara. “So the economic impact coming in will be even greater.”

Kaler says the Erie County tourism industry brings in $1.6 billion a year which supplied a tax relief over $500 for all county residents last year.

“As those numbers continue to grow, it does provide an even greater tax relief to our community,” said Kaler.

Being in the heart of it all at Harborcenter, employees say they’re getting great feedback about the event, location and destination from tourists.

“They were extremely happy to be able to walk around there and not have to drive anywhere,” said Turkay.

“People were telling us this was the smoothest event they’ve seen in all the different cities they go to so we’re pleased,” said Barrett.

From the city’s progress, to bars, restaurants and hotels, the reviews keep rolling in, making residents excited for the future.

“It’s hard to describe — it gives you chills to be a part of this environment,” said Turkay.  “We’re proud of the success. Especially now after seeing the reviews the day after the draft [weekend] and the feedback, it makes you proud of who you work for and such a great city.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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