Downtown Vineland: Come on Down(town)

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swansonDowntown Vineland


By Russell Swanson, Exec. Director, VDID / Main Street Vineland


A Columnist for the Grapevine Newspaper


 
How long has it been since you’ve been to downtown Vineland? Our columnist extends a special invitation for you to see what you’ve been missing.
I ask this because I’ve met Vineland residents who have said to me outright that they don’t come downtown—and they cite any number of reasons—safety, cheap stores, trash, and nothing to see or do, among them.
Let me cite my own experiences as a sort of reality check. I spend most of the day—most days of the year—downtown. I’ve owned and run businesses in the middle of our downtown. The nature of my current position with Main Street Vineland puts me in even closer touch with the pulse of our downtown.
I walk and ride up and down our downtown, almost every day, talking to business owners, patrons, and others.
We have, in our Main Street district, more than 250 businesses that deal in a wide variety of goods and services. I do most of my shopping downtown—everything from clothing, shoes, accounting, dry cleaning, eating, shopping for gifts, car servicing, banking, and lots more. The businesses are here, they serve me well, and I want to do everything I can do encourage and support them. Then we have the Landis Theater, Grant Plaza, and other venues for entertainment.
We have some great plans for our downtown about which you’ll be reading in future columns. We’re also working hard to make the downtown experience even better. In addition to the major resurfacing project the City is doing that will make Landis Avenue state-of-the-art, we’re working on initiatives to improve safety—better lighting and a better police presence. We’re working on fine-tuning and putting into effect design guidelines for our businesses and outdoor dining and seating standards to give our restaurants the incentive to provide pleasant outdoor dining arrangements. Through our merchant newsletter, we’re informing our business owners of what they can do.
This is not to mention the regular events about which I’ve talked in previous columns—our Fourth Fridays, cash assaults, Downtown Merchant Meet-and-Greets, and our other events.
So, to get back to my original questions—how long has it been since you’ve been downtown and what’s been stopping you? Well, come and see just what you’ve been missing!
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A reminder about two exciting events coming up: Our next Downtown Merchants Meet-and-Greet will take place this Thursday, April 7, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., at Century Savings Bank, 1005 E. Landis Avenue. These are held on the first Thursday of every other month and are great networking opportunities for businesses. Also, the hosting business gets to show off their facilities and what they have to offer.
Next week—on Wednesday, April 13—our next cash assault will take place at Finer Flowers, 745 E. Landis Avenue, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. During that time, enjoy a 25 percent discount on anything in the store. Our cash assaults take place the second week of each month.
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Make downtown Vineland your destination for your shopping needs, as well as for fun all year round. Save money on gasoline, avoid the long lines at the big-box stores, malls, and shopping centers—and also enjoy the events we have in town.
For more information on Main Street Vineland, call 856-794-8653, visit mainstreetvineland.org or check them out on Facebook. You can also e-mail rswanson@vinelandcity.org.