Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What will it take to get people down town?

It's sad walking through Portage Place these days, There are so many businesses that are closing or have left the mall.  What is going on? Is it the economy? People are not spending as much? Or is it that entrepreneurs not doing their home-work and sell the stuff people want to buy?  For every one new business that has opened three or four have closed down. I am a big believer in down town living and shopping.  I want our city to be like a happening place.
    If you want to make the mall an attractive place, get some entertainment in there. Use the space to give young and upcoming musicians, artists a chance to express themselves on a Friday afternoon, give people a reason to stop and  stay for a while, have things that attract children - face-painting, drawing contests et that will encourage parents to bring out their little ones and stay for a while.
   I heard that the Bay will soon be sold to the University and it will become part of the U of W empire, which is great. There will be a lot of young people without a lot of money to spend, so what do young people need? Coffee shops, groceries, small boutiques might do well - young people like to dress and be different. Young people believe in co-ops, businesses that give back to the community and not only profit oriented, recreational facilities. We need more diversity in foods. Aim for restaurants that are upbeat - fresh and youthful. Old people like those places too.  More like Stella's and less like Papa Georges along the Portage Avenue Downtown strip. If I think of anything else, I will post it here but we, the citizens have to help politicians and others to build up our downtown with our ideas. They don't have all the ideas, so come on Winnipeg, what do you thin, let's hear from you.

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