May 2, 2014

Downtown community, visitors center planned

PLATTSBURGH — A new center promoting downtown is slated to open here on June 1.

Members of the Plattsburgh Downtown Association, Plattsburgh Renewal Project and First Weekends are working together to open the space, tentatively called the Downtown Community and Visitors Center.

It would be located at 30 City Hall Place, the former Mountain Riders location across from Trinity Park.

Downtown Association President Colin Read said the space is under lease and that renovations, including new hardwood floors, are underway. He said it will be WiFi equipped.

They would like the space to be available to local musicians and artists, Read said.

“We want it to have an art gallery feel,” he said.

It could also serve as a place to distribute literature about the city, particularly the downtown area. Businesses would be invited to put on demonstrations of what they offer, Read said.

“The whole idea is to use that site to help all of us raise the awareness of our businesses.”

The space could also serve as a location to start and end local tour routes.

Read said they have already raised $1,500 for a set of raised metal plaques to mark significant sites on a walking-tour route and are seeking input from the city and county historians on which locations would qualify.

It could also be used to host First Weekends events in the case of inclement weather.


Tim McCormick of First Weekends said they are moving away from having each event have its own theme, but there will be several agriculturally themed demonstrations this year. 

Michael Kribs of the First Weekends Marketing Committee said they are continuing to suggest that businesses offer Friday visitors a Saturday discount if they return.

“This is a good way to funnel business downtown and support the downtown businesses,” he said.

Businesses can limit those offers as they see fit, such as making them available only on select merchandise, McCormick said.

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