Eddie Aikau has North Shore business both flat and swell
By Mari-Ela David - bio | email
NORTH SHORE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Monster waves at the prestigious Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau surf competition at Waimea Bay drew big crowds and bumper-to-bumper traffic.
But did any of that traffic pour into businesses?
One of the places that's seeing a swell in business is Banzai Sushi Bar at the North Shore Marketplace, where surfers are known to stop in. On Tuesday night, the owner, Samuel Bendenoun, says big wave surfer and Eddie Aikau invitee, Kohl Christensen, was expected to drop in.
It's a business boost Bendenoun says rolls in with the epic waves.
"We've been on the incline, I would say 25% - increasing our business a lot," he said.
At the Quiksilver store in Haleiwa, the official 'Eddie Would Go' headquarters, the manager says business has exploded at Christmas levels, and has been busier than Black Friday.
"Maybe like triple from what a regular day would be like with just normal waves," said Vincent Brady, a Quiksilver store manager.
In fact, just as Brady was showing his remaining two hot selling shirts to Hawaii News Now, a customer snatched them.
"My husband was looking for a shirt and there's pretty slim pickins right now," said Tracy Beegen, a customer.
But just around the corner from Quiksilver was a different picture.
"Business has been slow. We were hoping for a little bit more business, a little more traffic. There's traffic on Kamehameha Highway but we didn't see too much of it," said Chris Foster, manager of Aloha General Store.
The reason? Possibly timing.
"I think everybody was at the beach and the contest just ended so most of the shops here only open until 6:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m.," said Foster.
Businesses that did not see sales spike are holding out hope for an upcoming potential boost. The next surfing competition is the World Cup Billabong Pipeline Master's which could run on Wednesday.