Container Boss cautious about entertainment reopening
Eight months ago, businessman and event promoter Ian Miles was faced with the difficult decision to close his restaurant, sports bar, and popular venue - The Container Hot Spot - located on Duke Street in Kingston. But despite Prime Minister Andrew Holness' move to reopen the entertainment sector, Miles is weighing his options.
"There is too much uncertainty and unanswered questions," he told THE WEEKEND STAR. "One minute him say this and then the next 21 days is another statement. Sports bars were not to be opened at first, then him come back and say no dining, strictly takeout, then the different curfews. It all had an impact, we had to close down."
Miles, known within the entertainment community as Container Boss, said the spot was one source of income but his other business, a liquor store in Denham Down, which he kept open, suffered. "From parties nah keep, liquor nah sell!" Miles said. "The good thing is that everything is mine."
WAS NOT WORRIED
He said that he expected certain criteria would have to be met before venues were approved for use, but that he was not worried as The Container Hot Spot "met the requirements before even the pandemic". However, if a spike or a third wave of the virus occurs, which could hamper the reopening of schools, he thinks all eyes would be on the entertainment sector.
"You going hear is because event or party a keep even when other types of gathering occur. The industry a guh use as scapegoat, for them to find a reason to close down [again] and they are going to blame entertainment, whether or not it (a spike) was caused by it," he said. The promoter pleaded with fellow entertainment industry professionals and owners of businesses to "give our sector a good name".
"Adhere to the rules and protocols dem stipulate, you don't know who will turn up to observe and you don't want to be the one weh spoil it for everybody else. Make sure the bars are not crowded, if you do keep something. Just make sure you're in the right," he said.
Miles also advised his colleagues not to 'cheap out' their brands when they begin hosting events again. He pointed out the economics of hosting with the mandatory protocols.
"A small event has been put at 100 persons but with staff which includes, bartenders, waitresses, cashier, security personnel, a DJ and maybe a photographer, that leaves you with 70, no more than 80 patrons at $2,000 per person. That is $160,000. Minus the cost for promotion of the event to attract the maximum number of patrons, and all other expenses ... . I have to look at all expenses against the possible profits, and possible losses. It may not make sense when I calculate the numbers properly," he said.