There are some things in the tourism industry that are unexplainable…this is one of those things.
On the weekend while in the Niagara region, we decided to bike along the incredible waterfront trail that follows the Niagara River. Our goal was ice cream in Niagara- on-the-Lake 10km downstream on what was a perfect spring evening. As we cycled along my friend Anne told me about this ice cream store we were headed to called COWS, that originated in PEI and how it is the best ice cream ever. Being a sucker for any kind of unique food reward while cycling I was instantly intrigued. As we rode into town on what was the Sunday evening of the Victoria Day long weekend, the town was buzzing with restaurant patrons, horse and carriage rides and people simply meandering along in this beautiful historic town. We parked our bikes in front of the store and found it mysteriously dark. I went to the door to find it locked…I yanked on the door thinking it was stuck, with enough force to set off the alarm.

Nothing gets in my way of world famous ice cream.

The only thing on the door was a Health Notice about not bringing pets into the store, no hours of operation, no reason why it was closed. Dumfounded why an iconic ice cream store would be closed in what I would consider prime time ice cream eating time, we collected ourselves and parked our sorry butts on a bench in front of the store. As masses of evening tourists streamed passed I said to Anne “Watch this…lets just sit here and see how many people try the door”. Within 15 minutes, group after group yanked on the handle only to have the same reaction we did. We estimated that they missed atleast $250 dollars of revenue within 15 minutes selling their premium dairy treats and merchandise. Their loss and my loss as I was excited to try it. Not sure what their reason was for being closed, like most small tourism businesses it could have been staffing issues, product issues, or simply a bad judgment call.
The moral of the story is to always call ahead like Ron, Anne’s husband said before we left and we both replied: “Yah right, its an ice cream store in a tourist town on a long weekend” “Its COWS”.


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Filed under Best Practices, Tourism Management

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