In brief: Dog-eat-dog days on pub street

In brief: Dog-eat-dog days on pub street

Insiders talk of an emerging power struggle in Siem Reap's flourishing Pub Street precinct, with cashed-up big players creating conglomerates and aggressively hustling smaller players to sell out and move on. As one source revealed, the Pub Street princes have, until recently anyway, been able to easily attract capital investment, but the smaller players and one-venue independents, whose bottom line is precariously dependent on the vagaries of a not-so-stable and seasonal tourism revenue, cannot attract capital. Hence, it's a case of the rich getting capital injections and the poor getting red-lined in the bank balance department. There are also concerns that a downturn in tourism will hurt the smaller players. A wary eye is being kept on potential fallout from the US economic collapse, but some operators say the high season now beginning won't be so badly affected because of long-term bookings made earlier in the year. For now, it's a matter of trim-the-budgets and wait-and-see, but early warnings are that next year more small venues will hit the wall.

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