I know. Nobody's ever going to feel sorry for the owner of the Vancouver Canucks. That's because the fabulously wealthy Francesco Aquilini has a stake in so many businesses.
According to the Aquilini website, his family-owned company's holdings include:
* nine hotels from in Vancouver, Montreal, and New Brunswick;
* the second-largest Pizza Hut franchise in Canada, with 48 outlets;
* seven high-end restaurants and the Thierry cholocaterie on Alberni Street;
* real-estate projects across the Lower Mainland;
* cranberry, blueberry, winemaking, dairy, beekeeping, and aquaculture operations;
* Stong's Market;
* Cordell Industries aircraft charter and management company;
* BLT Construction, MRS Management, and Aquilini Renewable Energy;
* two golf courses, a western-movie set, FlyOver America, and, of course, Rogers Arena.
So how on Earth could the pandemic be a bummer for someone with holdings this vast?
Well, a couple of reasons.
Let's start with the weak Canadian dollar. It's trading at US$0.7824, according to the Bank of Canada.
That means for every US greenback that a Canuck players receives, the Aquilini family must fork out $1.2782.
Payroll costs are pretty high for the owner of an NHL franchise—especially one situated in Canada. And if his team doesn't make the playoffs, he's not going to rake in all that free dough from ticket sales at home games after he's paid his players their annual salaries.
Ticket revenue is very important to help pay the bills. But some or all of ticket revenue just might evaporate very soon as a result of an announcement later today by Health Minister Adrian Dix and the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry.
That's because the Omicron variant of concern is expected to lead to restrictions on attendance at live events. We'll see what it means for the Canucks.
Already, the province of Ontario has cut attendance in half at NHL games as a result of the spread of this COVID-19 variant.
The Omicron variant is also not going to be the best of news for those in the hospitality industry, including the Aquilinis.
However, if people order deliveries and takeout through Pizza Hut, perhaps this will cushion the blow somewhat.
The Jim Pattison Group, on the other hand, isn't quite as vulnerable to the vicissitudes of the virus.
That's because this privately owned conglomerate has far less exposure to professional sports and hospitality than the Aquilinis.
Sure, Pattison's Ripley Entertainment division and its Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls could suffer as a result of the Omicron variant. But its many grocery chains will likely do a booming business if people spend less money in restaurants.
Pattison's biggest problem just might be the supply-chain crunch. It's hard to get goods, including automobiles, into consumers' hands when there are huge backlogs at ports around the world.
So not everything's peachy for Pattison, either.