Downtown businesses urged city to move concerts to Thursday
Updated Jan. 28, 2015: The move of the summer concert in the park series from Friday to Thursday was requested by a group of more than three dozen downtown Paso Robles business people. Below is a letter from them presented to the city January 24.
“On behalf of a large group of downtown businesses and restaurants we are asking the REC Foundation and City to have the 2015 Concerts in the Park on Thursday evenings,”
“In our previous letter to the REC Foundation we stated many concerns and reasons why we are seeking to move the concerts from Fridays to Thursdays. We cited our primary reason as lost revenue. For example, in polling just six downtown restaurants on the park, each restaurant experienced a loss of $1,000-1,500 per restaurant each Friday the concerts occurred. From just that small sample, the total loss of revenue was a minimum of $60K in 2014 during the nine week Friday night Concerts in the Park. Retail stores on the park report a 10-25% drop in sales during the concerts too and have considered closing their shops at 4pm on Fridays that the concerts occur. The other businesses listed on the bottom of this letter have expressed similar losses.
“Several of the restaurants and businesses have been part of the downtown landscape for many years. Villa Creek opened its doors back in 1998 and has been instrumental in putting Paso Robles’ downtown on the culinary map. They have noticed the steady trend in lost revenue over the past handful of years and have expressed concern and are now joined by dozens of downtown businesses and citizens.
“Over the past 30 days since our initial meeting with the REC Foundation we have been meeting with and discussing our concerns with the downtown business community, community leaders, members and organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Main Street Association. We have been met with overwhelming support and excitement about the possibility of having the 2015 Concerts in the Park on Thursdays. Here are several reasons why we believe Thursdays would be the optimum day for Concerts in the Park:
- “Extending the weekend. Locals could start their weekends early by kicking off their weekend with a Thursday night concert with the family then enjoy date night in one of the downtown’s restaurants followed by a movie… If marketed correctly, this could be great for hotels, restaurants and shops. Could mean more room nights and extended stays for tourists who shop, stay and dine downtown Paso Robles and may attend the concerts. Paso Robles could be branded as a 3 day weekend getaway. More reasons for summer travel to Paso Robles.
- “Additional tax revenue for the city. Increasing the downtown retail and restaurant traffic and extending hotel stays could increase sales and yield taxes that would benefit the city.
- “Community involvement. Locals will come out for family oriented concerts to support their community and parks and open spaces for kids. During the summer, kids don’t have school so it’s a great day to have a family night in downtown Paso. Look at Templeton’s concerts. Everybody comes out for a summer concert on a Wednesday early evening. The park is packed with local families! “Passing the hat” would have the same level of success on Thursday nights. The downtown park is the beautiful centerpiece in which people can assemble and support the community and the REC Foundation and its commitment to creating enhanced programs, places and open spaces for quality recreational experiences in Paso Robles.
- “More parking. Parking is already impacted on Friday nights because of the popularity of our downtown. If concerts were on Thursdays there would be more parking for locals attending the Concerts in the Park and support the REC Foundation by helping make the downtown park more accessible.
- “Downtown business community participation and promotion. Input from downtown business owners and restaurateurs indicate they will help promote Thursday Concerts in the Park. For example, Park Cinemas expressed interest in donating popcorn and bags to the REC Foundation to sell at the Thursday night concerts. Some restaurateurs have discussed donating t-shirts as a merchandising tool to promote and brand the new Thursday evening Paso Community Concerts while providing a revenue generating tool for the REC Foundation.
- “City and community unity. Spreading goodwill by showing support for the downtown businesses and restaurants as they grow with the changing business climate as Paso Robles becomes a premier wine, food and event destination.
- “Special events. Concerts on Thursdays would not compete with the growing number of winery and special events that happen throughout the county on Fridays. San Luis Obispo county has so many special events and winery events that it can be challenging to pick which event to attend on the weekends. Having concerts on Thursday nights could help brand Paso as the downtown locals concert destination on Thursdays during the summer.
- “Help support local employees and families. Employees who rely on gratuities may benefit from more traffic downtown on Thursdays. Thursdays are traditionally less busy than Fridays and a Thursday event could possibly help drive more business downtown during the week.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to open dialogue between the business community, the City and the REC Foundation and are hopeful that the concerts will be moved to Thursday’s in 2015.”
Cris Cherry, Villa Creek
Carole MacDonal, La Cosecha Bar + Restaurant/Il Cortile Ristorante
Tom Fundaro, Villa Creek
Chris Kobayashi, Artisan
Laurent Grangien, Bistro Laurent
Donovan Schmit,Pappy McGregor’s
Piper Sundquist, Soletree
Andrea Phillips, Jayde
Troy Larkin, Fish Gaucho;
Erin Stuck, Jillian Waters, Joeli Yaguda, General Store
Andrea Dewit, Beatrice Dubes, AndBe Boutique
Bobbi Conner, The Natural Alternative
Randy Syracuse, Marv’s Pizza
Dawn Gregory, Odyssey Café
Robert Gilson, Hotel Cheval/Haymarket;
Francisco Mora, Chico’s Café
Brenda Clouston, Robert’s Restaurant, Estrella
Emily Miller, Firefly
Ryan Swarthout, Second Press
Sasha Irving, Studios on the Park
Sharon Sobraske, Studios on the Park
Joe Thomas, Studios on the Park
Gabriel and Adrianna Jorge, Habaneros
Nick Tompkins, NKT Commercial
Kannyn January, Ambiance
Debbie Thomas, Thomas Hill Organics
John Roush, Park Cinemas
Ken Siegel, Siegel’s
Neeta Mittal, LXV;
Ron Nodder, Chateau Lettau Winery
Melody Burbank, Burbank Ranch
Jody Storsteen, Berry Hill Bistro
Cecily Parrish Ray, Parrish Family Vineyard
Lisa Urciuoli, Heritage Gallery West
Rick Riva,The Rabbit Hole
Brianna Shore, Arroyo Robles Winery
Helen K Davie, Studios on the Park
Didier and Beatrice Cop, Panolivo
Teresa Burke, Asuncion Ridge Vineyards
Judi Hatzman, Grizzly Republic Wines
Heather Gray, Bodegas
Danika Reed, Vivant Cheese
Caitlin Pianetta, Pianetta
Derek Bettencourt, McKlintocks
Jennie Bork, Reminisce
MaryAnn Dinsfriend, Alterhouse and Leed
Garrett Wesch, Kahunas Surf Skate & Snow
Original report Jan. 27, 2015:
2015 concerts in the park move to Thursday nights
The REC Foundation for the City of Paso Robles announced today that the 2015 Concerts in the Park series will be moved from Friday to Thursday evenings. The first concert will be June 18 in the Downtown City Park. The change is for a one-year trial basis.
The programming change was prompted by a request from many downtown merchants who cited a significant loss of revenue due to the concerts, lack of downtown parking, and general congestion in the downtown area on Friday nights.
The REC Foundation plans to evaluate the community attendance, merchant feedback, and general response to Thursday evening concerts and will determine whether to permanently implement the schedule change for the 2016 concert season.
The REC Foundation presents the concerts as a community service and has done so for over 10 years. Proceeds from concert sponsorships, wine and beer sales, and “pass the hat” donations are used to fund recreation events and enhancements at city parks including Centennial Park, Sherwood Park, and the Downtown City Park.
“We are trying to be sensitive to the needs of our downtown merchants and find a balance with our mission of providing quality programs to our community,” says Brandon Medeiros, Chairman of the REC Foundation.
Established in 2000, the REC Foundation is a non-profit fundraising organization committed to creating enhanced programs, places, and open spaces for quality recreational experiences in Paso Robles. To date, the REC Foundation has raised over $750,000 and invested back into the community. The 2015 Concert schedule and performers will be available by March 1, 2015 at www.recfoundation.com. For more information and sponsorship opportunities, please call (805) 237-3987 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: REC Foundation press release