Covent Garden booms and busts as London 2012 fever takes hold
In an ominously quiet West End, businesses said they were angered by the “scaremongering” over public transport in central London. Teacher Anja Gottschalk, 27, right, came to London from Berlin to cash in on the Games by offering rickshaw rides to tourists but is now considering going back home.
She said: “Everyone has been scared off coming into the centre by all the warnings about public transport, car parking and the greedy hotels putting their rates up three or four times.
“I worked as a rickshaw rider in London before moving to Berlin, and I’ve never known it this quiet. I’m thinking of baling and going back home. But there’s only so much you can do in Stratford once you’ve been to Westfield so I’m hoping people will start coming back into town.” – London Evening Standard, July 31, 2012
COVENT Garden landlord Capital & Counties has seen no signs of an Olympic “ghost town” in the area during the Games. Chief executive Ian Hawksworth said: “It’s early days but so far the information we’re getting is that the restaurants are full and busy.” C&C, which is looking at building more upmarket apartments in the area, saw the value of its property portfolio rise 4.8% to £1.6 billion in the first half of 2012. – London Evening Standard, July 31, 2012