Burlington retailers miss Canadian tourists, but say business is booming without them

Pedestrians walk along Church Street in Burlington on Thursday, July 15, 2021. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

Burlington retailers eagerly await the return of Canadian tourists.

“Canadian tourists are incredibly important,” said Mike Donohue, one of the Outdoor Gear Exchange’s 18 employee owners, as he spoke to VTDigger inside the sprawling store on Church Street in Burlington. “With the Canadian border being so closed, we’re just excited to see it open back up. We have customers who have been coming for years from Montreal and Quebec City.”

“We love having the Canadians here,” said Lara Heath Allen, who owns Ecco, a clothing boutique. “It’s always been a very big part of our business.”

But even without visitors from beyond the northern border, Burlington’s Church Street is packed with visitors filling the outside tables at restaurants, and retailers tell VTDigger business is better than before the pandemic. 

“Business has…

Read more…