Old customers welcome

Wally Bannon stands outside his store where James Street meets City Road on Fort William First Nation.

With a hockey tournament at Fort William First Nation over the weekend, local business owners agree it is difficult to say yet whether the re-opening of the James Street Swing bridge will bring more customers, but it did get put through its paces.

“I had one customer comment she hadn’t been out here since the bridge closed, so she came back,” said Crystal MacLaurin who owns K&A Variety Restaurant and Gas Bar on City Road.

While MacLaurin said business may have picked up already the big plus about having the bridge open means there will be fewer people on the Highway 61 detour.

“It’s going to keep the people who shouldn’t be on the highway off the highway,” said MacLaurin.

Wally Bannon, who is part owner in J&W Confectionery and Bannon’s Gas Bar, said he held a bridge re-opening sale on the weekend by bringing down the gas price by five cents.

“That brought a few more cars over,” said Bannon, adding that it will take a week or so to see how the bridge will affect business.

“But everybody’s been very happy that it’s back open.”

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