Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Most of 5th St in the central business district is now shrouded in fence and cheesecloth. There was no time wasted post Oktoberfest in erecting fences and beginning construction on the square. It now matches the scene one block over where Government Square bus depot is going through a similar year long renovation.
The Enquirer today had an article that in my opinion was unnecessarily negative. I don't typically understand the point of interviews with random people on the street. Does it really matter that someone that typically has lunch on fountain square was 'surprised' to see the square shut off? Perhaps it does, but it seems pointless to me. If no one knew that this was occurring doesn't that make the guilty party people like the Enquirer? How else would Joe Public know but by reading the newspaper and watching the news.
Anyway, they did comment briefly on Rock Bottom's lawyers flying in from Colorado for discussions of 'financial concessions' for the construction. This infuriates me to no end. Comments of 'not being involved' in the process is flat out ignorant. Let me give a brief overview of what a community based business is about in a compare contrast of two downtown bars/restaurants. Rock Bottom ( on the square, corporate based out of Colorado), and McFaddens (7th St, locally owned).
Rock Bottom sits directly on the square and is the business probably most adversely affected in the short term, and most positively affected in the long term by Fountain Square.
12 months ago 3CDC held a half dozen public input sessions on the square design. The downtown info session held at McFaddens (likely not directly affected), why didn't Rock Bottom look to facilitate that?
6 months ago 3CDC held a YP focused session about Fountain Square, the Banks and OTR. Where was this event held? McFadden's. Again, not directly affected by the construction.
1 month ago, a Mayoral Forum was held at CET. Who sponsored the food at the event and the post event party? McFadden's. In case you're wondering the current Mayor is the one who publicly supported Fountain Square overhaul, and was ring leader in getting it through council.
1 week ago, McFadden's held a 'watch party' the evening of the Mayoral primary. Again, showing focus and interest in the local community (not to mention bringing in 100 people to buy beers on a Tuesday night).
I could go on. The point being, businesses who are involved in the community thrive. McFadden's is always crowded. Crowded for lunch, crowded for happy hour, crowded late night. Why? They have active grass-roots based involvement and marketing. They know their target audience and how to get them out. Rock Bottom on the other hand sits around for a year as plans are circulated, discussed in public, bebated at council and when passed they say "But what about my business?" You run a business, this is not charity. Be involved, let your concerns known upfront, then if you are ignored you have a place to complain. I haven't even mentioned the disgust with someone complaining about a $40 million upgrade done on their doorstep with $0 from them. I am guessing that once construction is done and business is booming they'll expect to keep the same rent they are paying now. If they end up filing a law suit, it will be the last time I step foot in Rock Bottom.
And I'm not anti-Rock Bottom. I probably go to lunch or evening meetings there twice a month.