By CHRISTIAN STANGER
"It's bigger than Christmas!" That's the verdict on the Wintersun Festival from shopkeepers and traders along Griffith Street and in the Showcase on the Beach shopping centre this year.
Wintersun has become a staple in the lives of shopkeepers in the city centres and for the most part, they couldn't be happier.
Both retail and food outlets have experienced huge increases in sales - some in excess of 100 per cent during the last four days of the Wintersun festival.
Clothing outlet, Esteem located on the ground floor of Showcase on the Beach opposite the Wintersun's main stage reported an increase of up to $3000 in sales for last week, all due to Wintersun.
"It's our biggest time of year," said shop owner Margot Preisely.
"We have all the rock 'n' roll gear here as well. It really picks up pretty steadily over the two weeks leading up to it and then it dies off again."
Shopkeeper Murray Martin at Memory Lane Gifts and Accessories has reported similar increases in sales with most patrons, tourists in town especially for the festivities.
The Seven Eleven on Griffith Street has reported a largely unanticipated increase on last year selling out of the most popular items within days despite the store increasing the order size on last year.
"It's been excellent this year," said store manager Bill Stevenson. "We have been here for four years and this year has been the biggest by far."
"Even though we ordered more than we did last year we were still well and truly out of stock."
Both the Coolangatta Bakery and Subway on Griffith Street reported that they were run off their feet over the weekend trying to keep up with the demand of the town bursting at the seams with rock 'n' rollers.