Latviski English По-русски
Monday 23.07.2018 | Name days: Magda, Magone, Mērija

Palanga offers 1 euro day dinner amid unseasonably chilly July

(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Basanavičius street, Palanga

Linas Jegelevičius for the BNN

If you were to turn your ear to Palanga hoteliers and restaurateurs these days, the main story line is the same: this high season is bad and moreover – one of the worst ever. The lamenting is usual, many locals would say. On the other hand, the unseasonably low summer temperatures, gusts and tropical June and early July downpours have shooed many potential holidaymakers away.

Is the situation really so bad?

Well, it depends on who you’re ready to listen to.

«Well, it is enough to take a look at the scarce passer-by flows on Basanavičius street, which is the resort’s main artery. You won’t see many people in the terraces, even at night. Weather rarely coddles Palanga in June, but July is usually abundant with sunshine. Not this year, however, unfortunately for local café and restaurant owners – we see only rain,» Artūras Timukas, owner of «Devintam Danguj» restaurant, a popular local hangout spot, told BNN.

Indeed, the prolonged downpours have soaked the seashore, gnawing away parts of it.  With the water creeping close, owners of some beach patios had to use sandbags to rein it in.

Some of the beach guard stations are still at risk and sandbags are handy.

Vying for the scarcer than usually July visitors, some restaurants have launched yet unheard marketing campaigns, inviting all to have dinner of the day for one euro.

First it was «Laukinių Vakarų salūnas», a trendy café and night club, known for its youthful clientele at day and testosterone-driven customers at night, as well as for a stout black host at the entrance, that started to lure all to come in for a one-euro dinner.

It has created a good deal of buzz in local and national media, with many wondering whether Palanga is ready to rid of the trope as an expensive resort.

Explaining what many see as a well thought out marketing, Audrius Mikalauskas, the café’s manager, noted that, this year in particular, many visitors are price-savvy and tend to tighten the purse strings.

«There is a significant part of people who come here, saunter around and ask others for cheaper spots to eat. Therefore, we decided to respond accordingly, pricing all cheaper dishes with one euro,» he said.

In his words, the decision paid off, with many of the penny-pinching holidaymakers willing to try the novelty.

«The interest is tangible. The number of the type of guests depends on weather. But we’ve had a good deal of the customers by now. Both youth, visitors and local workforce like one euro dinner,» Mikalauskas said, noting that the café has slashes its menu prices up to 40 per cent during rainy days.

For one euro, the guest can get a bowl of soup and a 120-130 gram portion of balandėliai, a national dish made of minced meat stuffed in boiled cabbage leaves, for example.

However, the case is misleading, conjuring up an impression that Palanga has become an all-affordable holiday destination.

Although most of local restaurants do respond accordingly to the volume of the human flow outside, the range of dish prices has virtually changed little, or has not at all over the last year.

You may spend from 8-15 euros for your main dish in 80 per cent of Palanga restaurants, up to 40 euros in a handful of them, including «Žuvinė» on Basanavičius street, and up to a whopping 100 euros – or more! – in the A-list clientele catering «Pušųpaunksnėje», a restaurant owned by the family of the legendary Lithuanian basketball player, Arvydas Sabonis.

«Indeed, Palanga offers a wide variety of services in a different range of prices. Naturally, the prices are on a higher end in Basanavičius street, but further from it they drop significantly,» Šarūnas Vaitkus, mayor of Palanga, says.

He, however, acknowledges that some local entrepreneurs tend to spike upthe prices and he regrets it.

«Excessively high prices do make harm to the resort’s image. Sadly, there are still some businessmen who, in a couple of months, want to ear for the rest of year. From my experience, they come here from elsewhere. On the other hand, if there’re people who are willing to pay more, there will be someone who will be charging more,» the mayor emphasised. «I’d say this: the resort offers many places where the visitor is respected in spite of the width of the wallet.»

Agreeing, Ingrida Valaitienė, head of Palanga’s Hotels and Restaurants Association (PHRA), says that the variety of prices and services has become Palanga’s signature feature. Especially so this summer.

«The fact that some places started offering outlandishly low prices, even for one euro, suggests that even part of the local businesses got fed up with the continuous message that Palanga is a place of frightening prices. Palanga accommodates very different types of visitors. From those affording a five euro per night room in the attic of a wooden house belonging to a local granny (many local senior residents tend to rent their free rooms and can be quite bothersome offering their services in the local bus station-L.J.) to those who let with ease thin their pockets by 300 euro per night for a room in a five-star local hotel,» the PHRA head said.

According to Valaitienė, it is too premature to make conclusions on the year’s high season, but the flexibility of prices is definitely one of the summer’s defining features.

«In terms of the make-up of the visitors, Estonians and especially Latvians are abundant here so far. Meanwhile, many Lithuanians in such summers like to go to what we call Latvia’s «wild» beaches in Pape and around it,» she said.

As for Russian guests, their numbers have reduced since the worsening of the geopolitical situation following annexation of Crimea, she noted.

«Western tourists have not replaced them since then. I’d say we’re seeing more local people arriving at Palanga and they have partly replaced Russians. Yet not locals but foreigners are a sought-after clientele by Palanga hotels for a single reason: foreigners make bookings in advance, meanwhile Lithuanians book late and tend to do cancellations,» the PHRA head noted.

The average occupancy of Palanga hotels is at around 70-90 per cent for the weekend, Valaitienė said.

Not bad, uh?

Ref: 020/

Leave a reply

  1. Trevor Hudson says:

    It might encourage more people to visit Palanga if the Parking charges were reduced, over 5 Euros for 3 hours parking is a right Rip Off

Ryanair earns 20% less in April-June and readies for strikes

The Irish airline Ryanair has registered a 20% fall in profits as it has had higher wage costs as the airline as a result of continuing industrial action by staff over remuneration and conditions.

Swedbank: Riga is behind neighbouring capital cities with real estate deals

With residents’ purchasing power and savings on a rise, more and more residents consider housing acquisition options, according to Swedbank data.

Lithuania's Šiauliai has plans for a joint discount and service system with Latvia's Jelgava

Šiauliai municipality plans to adopt a joint discount and service system with Jelgava.

Criminal prosecution requested for two police officers for cheating at gambling

Internal Security Bureau has requested the prosecutor’s office to commence criminal prosecution of several people, including two police officers, for using illegal computer software to cheat at slot machines.

Fire in Valdgale held at bay within perimeter; Crisis Management Council calls emergency meeting

Last night, firefighters in Latvia managed to hold at bay the fire that had run through Valdgale County last week within the safety perimeter, says State Fire and Rescue Service press-representative Inta Palkavniece.

Nearly 10% of HIV infected in Latvia are youngsters

Latvia is currently the leader among newly uncovered HIV cases in Europe. On top of that, nearly 10% of all HIV infected are youngsters, says public health specialist Baltic HIV Association member Anda Ķīvīte.

In pictures: Large wildfires in Sweden continue

In Sweden, record summer temperatures and weeks without rain have caused series of wildfires across the vast country.

Lursoft: catering sector in Latvia – how much industry leaders earn and pay in taxes

Using a study and compiling data on companies’ business activities for the past three years, Lursoft wanted to find out if it is true catering companies in Latvia work with losses, and what their tax contribution is.

Shooting attack in Canada claims lives

A shooting attack has taken place in Toronto, Canada, with two people having been killed died and 13 others injured.

Farmers in Estonia active in Open Farm Day

Estonian farmers have held their fourth Open Farm Day as over 250 farms in the Baltic country invited everyone interested to experience growing and making of domestic food and agricultural products.

Police commence investigation of an offshore network owned by Lembergs’ daughter

Latvian State Police has commenced an investigation following journalists’ publication of materials about an offshore network owned by suspended Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs’ daughter.

Polish Sejm rushes to change defiant chief Judge of Supreme Court

Poland's legislators have passed rules to hasten the changing of a new Supreme Court chief as part of far-reaching judicial reform that has been criticised by the European Commission among others.

Heat wave to continue in Latvia along with thunderstorms and heavy rain at times

The heat wave active in Latvia will not back off this week – days will remain hot and night-time air temperature will not drop below +20° C. Heavy rain and thunder will be observed nearly every day this week, according to Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Bulgarian parliament opposes readmission of migrants from EU countries

Bulgarian parliament prohibited the its government from signing bilateral agreements with other European Union member states on readmitting migrants first entered the bloc in Bulgaria.

Week in Lithuania. Liberals ex-leader fails to recover confiscated cash

Eligijus Masiulis, a former Liberal Movement leader on trial in a major political corruption case, has failed to recover cash that was found and seized during searches of his home.

BNN summary of the week: open presidential election in Latvia and no more plastic bags for shoppers

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Future; Change; Fight; Decline; Business; Progress.

SRS: cash register reform still stagnates, but has become much faster than it was last year

The cash registers reform continues stagnating. However, it has become much faster than it was a year ago, as reported by State Revenue Service.

Specialists to search for solutions to topical environmental problems in Ventspils

On Friday, 20 July, a meeting was held between Ventspils Commercial Port representatives and specialists from State Environment Service.

Children with functional disorders to receive services financed by EU funds

Child invalids will have access to social services intended to improve their social skills and mobility. More than EUR 4.2 million has been allocated for this goal from the European Social Fund, as confirmed by Latvia’s Central Financing and Contracting Agency.

Producer price level in industry up 4.3% in Latvia

Compared to June 2017, the average level of producer prices in Latvian industry increased by 4.3 % in June 2018. Prices of products sold on the domestic market rose by 4.8 % and those of exported products by 3.7 %.

Total tax debts in Latvia in July – 1.212 billion euros

At the beginning of July total tax debts in Latvia, including outstanding debts, halted debts and debts applied with repayment term extensions, accounted for EUR 1.212 billion, which is 0.8% less than a month prior, according to data from the State Revenue Service.

Survey: every third Latvian resident has received illegal loan offers

Nearly every third resident in Latvia or 31% of respondents admit having received offers to use illegal loan services, as concluded in a survey performed by Latvian Alternative Financial Services Association and SKDS.

Libya opposed to EU's idea to establish migrant centres in North Africa

Libya is against the solution of the European Union to set up migrant centres in the North African country as a means to keep migrants from arriving in the bloc and Libya would not be convinced with financial support, its Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj has noted.

Arrest warrant on Catalan ex-President cancelled by Spain

The Supreme Court of Spain cancelled a European arrest warrant for former Catalan regional leader Carles Puigdemont, as Germany refused to extradite him to face accusations of rebellion for declaring the independence of Spain's region, Catalonia in 2017.

Latvian government plans to allow handing expired food to charity

Latvia’s Agriculture Ministry has prepared amendments to the Law on the Supervision of the Handling of Food that provide permission to hand over certain types of food products to charity after the end of their expiry date.