More people expected to toast the New Year at home

By Vanessa Ybarra
December 29, 2016 - 4:41pm Updated: December 29, 2016 - 6:01pm

KAMLOOPS — As the hours tick down to New Years Eve, alcohol sales are shooting up. 

"We're selling way more liqueur, Baileys, Amarula, Kahlua, things like that," said Linda Coles, Manager for Sahali Liquor Store.

The fact alcohol sales surge ahead of the biggest party night of the year shouldn't come as a surprise.

However, Coles says more people choosing to stay home has led to an especially high spike in sales the last few years. 

"We probably bring in ten times more Baileys and ten times more sparkling wine," said Coles. "More people are staying at home New Years Eve."

New Years ticket sales for clubs and restaurants around the city may remain strong, but hospitality experts say the reality is every year they're seeing more people choosing to forego a full night on the town.

"I go out for dinner early, but that's it," said one woman.

"It's always quite busy on New Years Eve, so we just have a house party or a dinner party," said one man.

Kamloops establishments charge anywhere from 25 to more than 60 dollars for the full dinner and dance experience.

Costs may be a deterrent for some, however, industry experts say it isn't the main factor keeping revelers away come December 31st.

"I think it's really around the responsible consumption of alcohol," said Bryce Herman, CEO of Advanced Hospitality Consulting Services.

"The reality is with more and more of us being more conscious of our consumption of alcohol, less of us are getting behind the wheel. For many people, if they're going to go somewhere, they want to know that a room is included."

Ramada Kamloops is one of many hotels doing just that.

"If you want to make it a full evening we also include in the package a full stay and breakfast in the morning," said Joan Rannie, Front Office Manager for Ramada Kamloops. 

With road blocks expected to be out in full force once again New Years Eve, the hotel is one of many in the city adding a room to its New Year's packages in the hopes of attracting more people.

So far, it seems to be working. 

"Many people are inquiring about what's going on in the city," said Rannie. "So far ticket sales are 75%."

More restaurants are also choosing a safer, more economical route this year. 

"Having my own pubs and restaurants throughout the years, we threw those big parties," said Herman. "Over the later years, we backed away from that and really changed our philosophy. What we found is in the early part of the evening, if you just opened and had a regular dining component to what you're doing, people would come in, have dinner, a glass of wine, and then go home. It made more sense."

Resolutions may change, but looks like the couch remains the prime place to be toasting champagne come midnight. 

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