Marianas Variety Guam Edition – The Local and Regional Newspaper

12 23Mon12222014

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Back Local News Island businesses enjoying Valentine’s Day windfall

Island businesses enjoying Valentine’s Day windfall

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CUPID is busy, and so is Hallmark.

For the business community, Valentine's Day is an absolute money-spinner. Feb. 14 is the day when lovers don’t mind spending ridiculous amounts of money on overpriced flowers, chocolates, balloons, stuffed animals, dinners or simply anything red and cute.

Roy Terel reached for a vase with three elaborately arranged red roses priced at $39.99 at the Oka Pay-Less Supermarket.

“You just have to budget for it; otherwise, you end up sleeping in the dog house,” Terel quipped as he reached for a heart-shaped chocolate box priced at $35.

On regular days, flowers can be bought for as low as $12. During the Valentine season, prices range from $40 to $150. Red roses are always the star of the show.

People are not too price-conscious during Valentine’s Day, according to Tove Estabrook, who owns Tove’s Flower Boutique in Tamuning, which has been in business for 40 years.

“People’s buying habits during Valentine’s Day never change. They like red roses, chocolates and teddy bears,” she said.

Tove’s Flower Boutique ordered flowers from Ecuador, Thailand and Holland two months in advance.

Last minute

“People started placing orders two weeks ago. We can’t take any more orders, but we expect people to do last-minute gift shopping,” Estabrook said.

Last-minute shoppers who are on a budget can depend on Pay-Less, said Nancy Sido, who is in charge of the flower section.

“Our prices are relatively much lower than those in exclusive florists,” Sido said. “Business is definitely good during Valentine’s Day. People enjoy the tradition of buying Valentine gifts.”

Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort has advertised its $120 per couple barbecue dinner. But don’t bother trying to make a reservation.

“We’re sold out today,” said Romer Tabano, food and beverage manager at the Sheraton. “It’s limited seating for a maximum of 50 couples.”

He said Sheraton is hosting the Valentine dinner promo at Bayside, a new restaurant which is scheduled to open for regular business in April.

“On normal days, our restaurants get about 70 to 80 (customers). Valentine’s Day is always the peak season,” Tabano said. “We expect our other restaurants to be fully booked – that’s why we are using the Bayside just for one time before we finally open it.”

Guam Reef Olive & Spa doesn’t offer any Valentine’s Day promotion this year, said Chito De Guzman, marketing director.

“We have been fully booked these past weeks. We have had an influx of Chinese and Japanese guests, so even our restaurants have been pretty busy. Our guests can enjoy Valentine’s Day at the hotel and in our restaurants, but it’s business as usual at Guam Reef,” De Guzman said.

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