As the start of the Calgary Flames’ first playoff run since 2015 draws near, Calgary Police are going door-to-door visiting businesses along the Red Mile to ensure they’re ready for the onslaught of revellers.
“Mostly it’s about providing them information, or a place to get information on things like parking bans, potential road closures and updates on how many people may be coming down – or not coming down – on any given night,” said Const. Ian Vernon.
Vernon is a community liaison officer who is assigned to work with businesses along 17 Avenue to ensure they are prepared for the playoff run. Since starting his canvass of the neighbourhood, Vernon has met with 160 business owners to deliver the force’s message about what to expect.
“There’s going to be extra police presence to help them, but there’s also going to be a lot more people down here,” Vernon said.
Vivienne Momoh’s recently opened Second Cup coffee shop is located in the heart of the Red Mile. While she hasn’t had to face the crowds in the past, she feels prepared for what’s to come.
“We’re making sure we have a bit more baristas on duty to ensure each person that comes in is served timely and there isn’t any loitering around,” said Momoh.
“We are working with the police to make sure safety is the number one priority for our guests. We do have those measures and place.”
It’s that kind of planning Vernon is encouraging businesses to consider as he makes his visits along the strip.
“[We’ve been talking to] companies and businesses, especially if they’re new and may not be expecting that influx of people, to be sure they’re prepared for it with extra staff, extra security staff, so they can have a successful time for their business as well.”
Momoh said she’s excited about the prospect of a Flames playoff run and hopes it bodes well for business.
“We will stay as late as we need to stay to ensure that everyone is served with the best premium coffee. We’re excited, we’re upbeat, we’re in the groove of things cheering our team on!”