Festival disappoints many St. Augustine businesses

Some merchants see no benefit from Gentlemen of the Road Stopover

By Tarik Minor - Anchor, I-TEAM reporter

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - After the curtain closed on this weekend's Gentlemen of the Road Stopover, some in St. Augustine say it was a big money maker, but some merchants say they didn't benefit at all, or the concert actually shut them down.

"The local merchants , it did not help us, because they (the partygoers) were doing other things," siad Marcell Stillwell of Filth Rich Jewelry.

Stillwell is just one of a number of business owners who say they did not see the financial impact that they thought they would. She says the two-day music festival featuring Mumford and Sons and 10 other bands did very little for her business in downtown St. Augustine.

Stillwell sells celebrity jewelry, and this crowd of 26,000 partying people just weren't buying it.

"I did not expect the big sales, so I wasn't shocked," Stillwell said. "My boss though was upset, but it's just different."

Stillwell is looking forward to the crowds departure, and so is tour guide Maureen Gold.

"Because of the road closures and the the fact parking lot we operate from had been taken over by the bicycle parking, we had to move our business," Gold says. "We were actually put out of business and we couldn't operate."

Gold runs the St. Augustine Gold Tour Company and says the concert cost her hundreds of dollars this weekend, and she ended up turning customers away.

"It's good for the city, hotels, everyone else, but we operate from a place we couldn't do anything with," Gold said.

Some merchants say the location of their business dictated whether or not they made they made the money they were banking on. There were also several restaurants and bar owners who stocked up on food and drinks who said they did not sell.

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