We recently hosted “Jaime the Storefront Guy” for a workshop for downtown business owners and community stakeholders. Jaime shared some wonderful insights, and the attendees had great takeaways. There was a dynamic conversation around several subjects, but one was really interesting. A downtown business owner asked, “what about winter? What can we do when the snow is piled high, and people are not coming downtown?” Jaime asked “How many days does it snow so bad you don’t open your business?” The answer is not that many.
Jaime then made two very good points. One was tactical, and the other was a prompt/challenge.
1) If people are not coming downtown, they are probably at home and on their phones. Go to them digitally with social media content that brings your storefront to them.
2) Recognize that winter will happen every year and embrace it. What kind of “winter place” does Jamestown want to be? Jaime talked briefly about a couple of ideas and then followed up with us to share this interesting report called Winter Places 2.0.
This recent Blog post from the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau demonstrates that this area can be an incredible winter place, but specifically, what about downtown Jamestown? It definitely has its moments, from the Christmas Parade to hockey tournaments, and the decorations downtown are beautiful on snowy evenings. But there does seem to be an opportunity to make downtown a better “Winter Place.” The Winter Places report—and the links in it—provide numerous ideas we could implement here. The difficulty comes in deciding what ideas are best for our community and who will implement them. That’s where you come in, curious reader of the JRC blog. Click the contact page and let us know what you think.