This year’s Dine Around and Stay in Town holds more importance than ever, says Paul Nursey, president and CEO of Destination Greater Victoria, one of the lead agencies hosting the annual event.
With public health orders limiting travel, locals are the main target for participating restaurateurs and hoteliers looking to boost business and gain and maintain loyalties.
“This is vitally important,” he said. Not only is mid-winter a quiet time when the hospitality industry counts on local business to see it through, most expect a second straight slower-than-usual summer season.
“Someone’s favourite restaurant or hotel may have challenges making it through this year, so this is a great opportunity to support a favourite or try something new.”
Nearly 50 eateries are participating in this year’s foodie festival now through Feb. 7, with specially designed menu items offering value-based, multi-course meals at $20, $30, $40, $50 and $60. New elements include brunch menus and some three-course meals for $20.
When it comes to observing current COVID-19 protocols, restaurants, with their strict safety procedures, have been among the safer places to be inside apart from one’s home, said Mike Murphy, owner of Victoria’s 10 Acres Farm and Restaurant Group.
Not only does the Dine Around program help bring attention to that, he said, “this year there’s just so little to do. Everyone is tired of cooking at home all the time, so with it being three weeks this year, it’ll be like a three-week date week. It’s a great excuse to take your partner or your household and enjoy a meal out.”
As well 17 local hotels, many of which are a short walk from restaurants on the Dine Around list, are offering special room rates for residents in one household or a pandemic bubble to create a staycation.
Find a full list of participants at tourismvictoria.com/eat-drink/dine-around.
Lottery highlights the region’s best
In conjunction with Dine Around and Stay in Town, the B.C. Hospitality Foundation lottery offers a grand prize including two return tickets to Vancouver on Helijet; two nights, dinner for two and two breakfasts for two at Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouses; lunch for two at the Hotel Grand Pacific’s Pacific Restaurant; a $75 Visa card and a $100 gift certificate for The Keg Steakhouse & Bar.
Proceeds benefit the foundation, a charity assisting industry workers facing financial crisis due to a health condition.
Tickets ($5 each, three for $10, eight for $20, and 25 for $50) are on sale now until Feb. 7 at bchospitalityfoundation.com.