Local Businesses Prepare for New Year’s

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MEDFORD, Ore. – Local business owners are getting ready for one of the biggest party nights of the year.

Bars, restaurants, and taxi companies say the business is typically through the roof on New Year’s Eve, but the rowdiness downtown has them taking a few extra precautions.

Craig Owen, a taxi driver for four years and recent owner of Medford’s Valley Cab company, says he has affectionately started referring to New Year’s Eve as “amateur night” due to the behavior of those out partying.

But he says business can easily double that of a typical weekend night. So he’s coming prepared.

“On a Tuesday night we’ll have one, maybe two drivers on,” said Owen. “This Tuesday night we’re going to have five.”

But other local businesses say it isn’t at all about the numbers. Michael Sidon, the owner of Four Daughters, says he won’t see any more people than he does on a typical weekend night.

In fact, he usually spends more money on New Year’s promotions and giveaways. But it’s worth it thanks to the variety of customers who attend that otherwise might never come through the doors.

“Having new people is important for any business,” said Sidon. “Recognizing that this is an opportunity to bring new people in is vital to my business.”

Both say they aren’t worried about customers causing trouble. In fact, Owen says 95% of the customers are on their best behavior on New Year’s.

He admits there will undoubtedly be some unpleasant stories from his drivers, but at the end of the night it’s all worth it.

“It’s a night that every driver looks forward to,” said Owen. “Because they know it’s going to be their best night of the year.”