DENVER (CBS4)– After the NBA, NHL, MLB and entertainers announced they were postponing their events at local venues, employees who rely on tips from local restaurants are left to wonder how their income will be impacted by the lack of events. Fears over coronavirus spread among large groups of people has left many entertainment sources to cancel events at Pepsi Center, Coors Field and more.
Coohills, a locally-owned restaurant and bar, is conveniently located across the street from Pepsi Center. While the success of the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets significantly increased revenue in 2019, the threat of coronavirus has left some employees wondering how hard their paychecks will be hit.
“During game day this place is nuts,” said Jon Comins, a bartender at Coohills. “(Being close to the arena) is huge. Whenever we have a concert or game day, whether it be Nuggets or Avalanche, our business increases 10 fold.”
Comins told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas that bartenders can make hundreds of dollars on event nights just in tips. With events now postponed, including the Blake Shelton concert, some staff members couldn’t help but to evaluate how it will impact them.
“With the games not being here, it is definitely scary. There is going to be a lack of people coming through the restaurant,” Comins said. “That is where you get all your income from, is tips.”
Comins said he was at work when the Nuggets were playing the Mavericks in Dallas Wednesday night. The announcement from the NBA to postpone the season came during the game.
“It came across (the television) saying the NBA season is going to be cancelled. It just breaks your heart. And then you know everything else is to follow,” Comins said. “Just with the fear of this virus people are going to avoid large groups of people. So, you know business is going to slow down. It is terrifying.”
Cleveland Cavaliers star forward Kevin Love announced he would be donating $100,000 to hourly employees who work around the NBA games in Ohio. However, at the time this story was posted no Avalanche, Nuggets or Rockies players released details of any intentions to do the same in Colorado.
While the leagues and entertainers evaluate what options are next, Comins said he can only accept the facts of why those events were postponed.
“What they did is the right choice. But, also at the end of the day, it is still tough for us,” Comins said.
There are 48 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Colorado as of Thursday afternoon. Nine of those are in Denver. An additional 22 have been quarantined. They are not symptomatic.
Additional information from Denver Department of Public Health and Environment:
Residents of Denver need to remember:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
If you are feeling ill with symptoms similar to those associated with COVID-19:
- Manage your symptoms at home the same way you manage other cold symptoms. We want to reduce the risk of transmission, so to the extent possible, people with flu-like symptoms should remain at home.
- If you need medical care, contact your primary care provider and schedule a visit. Let them know that you are concerned you might have COVID-19.
- Only contact 911 for emergencies requiring immediate life-saving care and let them know if you are concerned you might have COVID-19.
- Restrict visits to the hospital emergency room or urgent care – only individuals needing immediate care should visit these facilities. If you must visit an ER or urgent care facility, call ahead and let them know that you are concerned you might have COVID-19.
CDC’s testing guidance includes three types of people:
- Those who have symptoms such as fever OR lower respiratory symptoms (cough or shortness of breath) and have had “close contact” with a confirmed coronavirus patient within 14 days of their first symptoms.
- Those who have fever AND/OR lower respiratory symptoms, require hospitalization, and have traveled to areas impacted by the epidemic in the last 14 days.
- Patients with fever and severe, acute lower respiratory symptoms who require hospitalization, and for whom no other diagnosis has been found — such as the flu. No travel or contact exposure is needed.