Sunday 4th was boon to Main Street
The Fourth of July falling on a Sunday was great for business, say many Main Street merchants.
It meant that Monday was a holiday for many workers, creating a three-day weekend people took advantage of to shop, dine and party.
Dave Schaffner of the Flat Rabbet Poster and Print Gallery and Framing said his sales were actually down a little from last year but was very optimistic.
Retailers on Main Street want foot traffic, and that’s what they got that weekend, he said.
"There were more people than I ever recall. The street looked like it was completely reserved by 6:30 in the morning," he added.
Jen Cutler at Park City Harley Davidson agreed, saying it was the busiest she’d seen in almost four years of being on Main.
Scott Toly at the Red Banjo Pizzeria said it seemed like more people came up from the Salt Lake Valley because those communities held their celebrations on Saturday.
"People started partying Friday and didn’t stop," said Cayley Rasmussen at Bunya Bunya.
Rick Anderson at The Eating Establishment and Bill Hufferd at Mustang on lower Main both said they enjoyed a Monday that was much was busier than usual because of the three-day weekend.
Mike Lindbloom of the Main Street Deli said Fourth of July festivities have steadily growth bigger over the past decade and to be the only town with a parade that Sunday made it even better, he said.
Steve Shlucker at The Loco Lizard at Kimball Junction said his neighborhood isn’t affected much by Old Town festivities, but he got great business from boaters, golfers and day trippers who drove along I-80 and got off to enjoy a meal.
A caveat to the positive foot traffic is that many businesses report sales are still flat compared to last year indicating that the bottom of the recession has been hit, but improvement is slow coming. Schaffner was the only owner to report mediocre sales.
Whitney Roberts at Café Terigo said the weekend went smoothly and they were very busy, but it wasn’t quite as busy as last year.
Anderson said he was only on par with 2009.
Lindy Ekker at Molly Bloom’s at Kimball Junction said they closed for lunch and opened at 6 p.m. all three days to serve diners attending events at The Canyons Resort.
Some business owners made changes that allowed for better sales this year.
Joey Rusconi at Wasatch Brew Pub said this year was the first they were able to take advantage of their new liquor license and seat families with children on both levels. Without restrictions on areas, the restaurant could seat more people quickly and served more meals, he said.
Jen Butler at Sugar Buzz said they take advantage of every event to introduce their offerings. This year they had a float in the parade and then served wall-to-wall customers afterward.
"That helps a ton. It makes people remember where you are, who you are and that you’re local. We got lots of comments on our float and had a great day of business," she said.
She said they were "flabbergasted" by the number of people out on the street and enjoyed the exposure the float provided.
But she goes out into the community with her products as well, she said. Before every Triple Crown Softball Tournament parade last year, Sugarbuzz sold lemonade and Italian ice out of a cart near China Bridge to people waiting their turn to go down the street.
Cutler said she benefits because many of her products are the same as those in high demand on the street, but are unique enough that she has less competition. For example, visitors can buy a T-shirt that says, "Park City" at a number of places. They must come to her to buy one that says Park City and the popular brand, "Harley Davidson."
But Cutler said she usually does well in good weather no matter what. People who like the brand and own motorcycles enjoy riding up to Park City on a clear day and stopping by her store.
Despite July’s balmy weather, businesses say rain in early June put a damper on summer business. Restaurants report fewer people visit the street and buy meals if it’s not sunny. That made for a slow start to the summer season, although it has picked up since the Fourth of July, many said.
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