Village Merchants Say Downtown Events Help Business
A large contingent of merchants and members of the Pinehurst Business Guild say that bringing people downtown benefits all of the businesses there.
"We work tirelessly to bring people into the village," said Kathryn King, president of the business guild. "We have a wonderful atmosphere in the village that offers so much to local people as well as tourists. We feel the village should be a gathering place."
King was one of about 20 business owners and merchants who gathered at a downtown business Wednesday to dispute the claims made by other business owners during a Village Council work session last week that some events downtown actually hurt business.
Members of the group said their businesses have seen increases in the number of customers and sales when the village has hosted community activities.
Koley Keel, owner of the Villager Deli, stressed being supportive f things that help businesses in the village. He said that if those things help one, two or more businesses, then that has a positive domino effect on others.
Old Sport Gallery owner Tom Stewart said business in the downtown is good, which is due in large part to a good mix of local and nonlocal shoppers.
Last week at a Village Council work session, Deborah Myatt, of Le Faux Chateau, said that more and more activities downtown were hurting business. She proposed moving some family oriented events, such as those that happen after parades, to the Arboretum.
"Those shop owners .... do not represent us - not the guild or our members - because we are very positive about the status of our Pinehurst village," Stewart said.
Myatt was one of several business owners who spoke to the council. Two of those, Sherry Mortenson, of Faded Rose, and Bruce Bishop, of Cool Sweats, also attended the gathering of guild members Wednesday which was held at Old Sport Gallery.
King said the business guild has about 82 members. She said that all but about five or six businesses in downtown Pinehurst are members.
"This is not an us-against-them thing," she said Thursday.
The group opposed the idea of sending people to the Arboretum for events because most felt the individuals ould not return downtown to shop, even if transportation was provided.
Members of the group talked about finding ways to get representation from the business guild at council meetings on a regular basis.
They also threw around ideas of how they could better inform residents and tourists about the shops and restaurants in Pinehurst and what those stores have to offer.
King said the guild will continue to work to promote all village businesses because it is "a great place to be for shopping, eating and socializing."
Contact Tom Embrey at email@example.com.
More like this story