Bars, restaurants and hotels took a hit in Dallas earlier this month as worries about the first Ebola patients on U.S. shores prompted people to hunker down. A new report from GuestMetrics, a firm that tracks transactions across consumer and hospitality industries, reveals that during the first week of October in Dallas the number of diners at restaurants was 2 percent lower than the same period a year earlier. It fell further in the following week, down 5 percent from the prior year.
And if you think the worries drove people to drink, think again. The number of customers at bars and clubs fell 11 percent from the year-earlier period. Lodging traffic dropped 7 percent. Casual and fast food restaurant traffic showed a slight drop. Among customers who did dine out, GuestMetrics found that they consumed fewer alcoholic drinks. In early October, beer sales volume was down 10 percent in the first two weeks of October from the prior year, while spirits volumes were down 8 percent. Overall, the slump in business was temporary, as traffic rebounded in the third week of October when "it had become clear that a broader outbreak in the area was not imminent," according to the release.
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-- Sara Eisen, CNBC