By Pam Fitzpatrick
The City convened our monthly merchant meeting this week (we call it MOTAB), and some of you may find it hard to believe that we are talking about the upcoming 4th Quarter already. Oh, wait, Oct. 1st is the start of the 4th Quarter, so no raspberries, please, if I devote some time to a few seasonal events. First, let’s start off with a very positive report from the IHL Group. These guys provide global research and advisory data for the retail and hospitality industries. Because our Old Town’s success is dependent on both industries (retail sales and visitors), I look for their opinion wherever I can get it. It seems that Forbes magazine has recently published a report saying more physical stores will open in 2017 than will close. “More discount and convenience stores are set to open, while traditional department stores and specialty soft goods will decline.” And that’s my first glance at the holiday selling season.
This week’s MOTAB meeting also discussed plans for our annual Trick or Treat event and it looks like the City is planning to provide a map of merchants willing to stay open on Halloween for the kiddies. I’m really happy about this move to get more merchants to stay open, and also about the decision to continue with the Candy Stations around town as well. But, before Halloween, we’re going to have Hay Rides again! Saturday, October 7th and Sunday, October 8th the hay wagon will return for rides up and down Myrtle from Library Park to Olive and back. Price? Just $2.00 per person – you can’t beat that! I’ll keep you posted on this one…
I mentioned last week that MOTAB was going to select a volunteer Film Liaison to serve until July 2018. That position takes countless hours in preparation for each filming in Old Town, and many more hours on the day/night of each event to represent the businesses. Ted Goldbeck from Studio Movie Grill was chosen for this round, with final approval headed for City Council next week. I’m sure the City will prepare new informational flyers and all the merchants will be receiving his contact information in the near future.
We’ll have a Wine Walk Recap Meeting Thursday evening, Sept. 14th, the day this paper publishes. I’ll tell you more after the meeting, but it looks like we had 414 folks in attendance and plenty of other visitors in the stores and restaurants. And – I think we’re going to have another one on April 21st 2018.
I suspect we’ll be doing a better job next year at telling our visitors in advance that they can’t walk the streets with wine in hand…
Once again, PLEASE SAVE THE DATE: 9/21/17 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. we’ll be celebrating “Peace in the Park.” Bring a guitar (or any other acoustic instrument), a picnic dinner, and your best buddy. Let’s have fun meeting new folks and just sharing a few hugs. We can all use a few extra hugs these days.