10/11/2010

DT Hours

Posted by MJ

Buffalo News reported that Lockport Main Street is in process of organizing Halloween and Christmas promotional plans for downtown businesses. All the promotion events so far have been a nice addition to DT. Hopefully the business community is seeing some type of return on it.

I feel the biggest promotional plan (and toughest to develop) for DT businesses would be some basic set evening business hours. Even today the stereotype of "nothing is open downtown" is still reinforced. I know personally that if I want to do something after dinner my gut choice is head to the town (or farther) where almost any store/eatery located in a plaza, etc will be open until at least 9pm. Going for a walk down Main St from time to time confirms the opposite for DT.

I realize that there is a cost difficulty in the extra staffing but there should also be some difficulty in not being open in the evening when people who work all day are looking to spend their money. I've heard accounts places that have stayed open later on certain nights only to find no additional benefits. One could see it as proof that it doesn't work. I see it as proof that it doesn't work without a group effort and established times making it worth taking the chance (drive).

There needs to be a feeling of "Lockport is open" if we want people to be comfortable venturing DT and finding businesses open when they get there. Be it by car or walking from the nearby neighborhoods that we look to turn around.

6 comments:

LoneWolf said...

MJ~

you mentioned " "nothing is open downtown".. unfortunaltely this is 100% true.

Lockport never had really .. and still doesnt have the "nightlife" that Buffalo or Niag Falls does.

Until Some people (not gonna name names here) realize this .. I don't think it ever will happen..

MOST of the places that are open into the late night are Private Clubs where you have to have an membership .. OR be with someone .. to even go in the door....


I f remeber correctly a few places( meaning owners) TRIED to get a "night life" going in Lockport.. but they failed.. was it lack of advertisement ..was it lack of people.. who know .. but they flopped miserably, and im talking in the last 12 years that I have lived in this area..

Granted, and I agree some may not like the "atmosphere" that comes along with the night life.. but if you don't like it .. dont partonize those particular places.. but on the same token don't "bash" them for trying to get the people into Lockport. At least they are trying SOMETHING to get pepole here and thry may not be the greatest.. but at least they are putting money in to the business so maybe we can get SOME semblance of a "night life" in Lockport.. or ever a "Day life" for that matter.

Just my thoughts.
~Jeff

Laurie said...

The places that have found no additional benefits, did they have a promotional plan for letting people know when their late night was? Did they get other neighboring companion businesses to stay open as well? I agree my own recent attempts at staying in the city during the evening have been grim but not entirely fruitless.
I don't want to hurt local business requiring full late nights, but I would like to see something like, "Main Street Monday" where I would know that downtown is open later, I could peruse the shops, have dinner and coffee, listen to live music, etc. Coupled with uniform clear signs at each participating location and some discount scheme, I'm there.

But for now a central list of "Things to do in Lockport after 7pm," would be a starting place, even an aspirational, "Things I want to do" list would be good.

I agree that this concerted seasonal promotion is a much needed start. I recently took a cab home from the airport, while reading the regional literature I noticed East Aurora sounded like a Main Street utopia, while the entry for Lockport (this is the 2010 printing mind you) said canal tours and popular Ames plaza. I'm sorry I didn't take down the publishers information myself, but anything serving as a promotional group or Chamber of Commerce style meeting is encouraging.

jaws said...

Doing a quick mental image of Main st. I think most retail bussinesses are open later(Family Video, Rite Aid, Taboo, Indian, Main Moon, Papa Leo, Friendlys, Gonzos-what else is there really?). The problem may be still a lack of establishments needing to stay open after 5. The DMV, insurance, dr/dds offices, banks, municipal obviously don't fit into this group. Maybe MJ can suggest some ideas to Heather Peck @ Lockport Main Street. He seems to have connections ;). A brochure that Laurie posted or a certain night other places would stay open later would be a great start.

Rocketboy said...

I believe that this is a lack of proper promotion as well. Have you ever tried to get an appointment with a medical professional after 5pm during the week? That's the time period where they are booked up the quickest.

MJ said...

I don't believe that it is a short term change. It would need to be coordinated and stuck to for the long term to change perceptions. Look at how long the fast food restuarants advertized "open till midnight or later" until it is now engrained in us that pretty much any fast food place will be open at least that late.

I'm not even all that concerned with anything after 9pm (bars/nightlife/etc). Just basic retail businesses like Frames by Ames (avg close 5:30pm) and Noah's Arc (avg close 5pm). With so many dual income families I'm surprised that buisnesses find it better to open during the day instead of at night. I'd figure hours of 12-8 would be more beneficial than say 9-5. I do not own my own business so I may be wrong but I do know when I am free to spend my money.

and as a side note, I think Indian Grill closed. The house they bought at auction on Transit is now for sale too. (It did recieve fresh siding and windows on the outside.)

Laurie said...

oh no, the Indian Grill phone is disconnected.

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