• Downtown business owners meet on business vitality

    Downtown business owners, by and large members of the Business Improvement District, met in an informal atmosphere on June 17 to discuss issues they confront which are peculiar to doing business in downtown Pacific Grove. They also offered suggestions as to what, if anything, the City could or would do to make downtown more successful. Present were a mix of restauranteurs, merchants, office and gallery owners as well as the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, the motorcycle museum, and this newspaper, a well as Mayor Bill Kampe, Mayor Pro Tem Robert Huitt, City Manager Tom Frutchey and Moe Ammar of the Chamber of Commerce.

    Participants were invited first to bring up subjects at random, and then each participant was given three votes to spend on ranking the issues.

    The following list, with the number of votes first,  presents the ranked answers to the question: What are the problems/challenges that are preventing your business and the downtown as a whole from being as successful as you would like?

    15 Upgrade perception of Pacific Grove throughout the peninsula

    13 Anchor store(s)

    11 Wayfinding signs: at Center and 1st St., etc.

    9 Getting people from the Rec Trail to downtown

    9 Corner signage for side streets

    9 More pedestrian space; less auto space

    8 Need more opportunities to shop, congregate, and achieve vitality

    7 Median lights – why aren’t they turned on still?

    6 Gull wastes, noise

    6 New revenues to pay for needed improvements

    4 Lack of big names in town

    2 Restarting the Trolley or similar transportation assistance

    2 Clean street gutters

    2 Stay open at night

    2 First Friday participation

    2 Referrals from hotels; educate front desk staff

    2 Better paths and maps

    1 Additional parking

    1 Ensure tourist center refers people to Pacific Grove businesses

    1 Business mix

    1 A welcoming attitude and infrastructure

    Isolation; difficult entry

    Awnings; clean, update, etc.

    When people aren’t in town, we don’t do well

    Special events

    Wider variety of stores

    On-line competition for certain sectors and businesses only

    Some items which had come up as suggestions, obviously, lost their ranking as more ideas were presented.

    A number of the suggestions, such as wayfinding signage and changes in types of allowable businesses are being addressed already. Some of the changes would not require City, Chamber of Commerce or B.I.D. involvement, such as staying open at night when there are tourists in town.

    The next step will be a meeting of downtown property owners. No date has been set for that meeting.

     

     

    posted to Cedar Street Times on June 18, 2014

    Topics: Front PG News

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