Thursday, August 27, 2009

Observation of the summer

Malls close at 9pm on weekdays and 6pm on weekends.

Sugar Mountain on Corydon, is open until 11pm.

What do I do, throw my hands up in the air? Here we are, wondering how to attract people downtown and how to bolster the Exchange District. The solution to this apparently, is to erect parkades, to make downtown more like suburban shopping malls than Corydon Avenue. Malls and retail franchises shut down at 9pm, while Corydon is just getting started.

Corydon is also conspicuously missing any sort of parking structure. Good grief Charlie Brown, ye must walk to Sugar Mountain.

But of course, people don't go to Corydon for one store. You might go for a drink or dinner, and walk around after. I wonder why Downtown is not approached in the same manner.

4 comments:

Kenton Larsen said...

Well said.

Speaking of Corydon: the new Fazzo restaurant on Corydon has shut up the "anti-bar" crusaders by closing the restaurant early AND putting in a take-out window that's open until "really late."

Yay!

If you want to sell stuff, you should be open all the time; drunk people, let it be said, spend more money than sober people - something that Sugar Mountain learned ages ago.

Jamie Isfeld said...

I've always wondered why this is the case. My American friends often mock me for saying I have to get to the mall before it closes - at 6:00 PM on a Saturday.

Sometimes, you just want to be out late at night. You don't have to be a drunkard or a miscreant.

While we're at it, I wish that the shorter Sunday rules were removed. Not everyone needs to be at church at 10 AM these days, and some of us don't get other time to get running around done.

Dale said...

It's a question of critical mass. Corydon has it. The downtown doesn't. As it stands the Corydon/Osborne Village area has a thriving young residential population that can stroll out to the restaurants in the evening. Those numbers make the area safe at night and help it draw people from other areas of the city.

In contrast the downtown has been built to house office staff. So, they drive in each day, park, and then go home at the end of the work day; leaving a downtown filled with empty offices and parking lots and empty streets that don't feel safe.

Get more people living downtown and you'll get the thriving street life and late night shopping options that you want. But it won't happen the other way around.

As for shopping malls, they're built with the nuclear family in mind. So, you go buy your crap during the day (ideally in bulk) and then go home again. The idea is that you're making a designated trip to the store, rather than a casual stroll through the area as you might do with Corydon.

Shopping at Corydon is lifestyle, so is shopping at the mall. But in Winnipeg the number of people whose lifestyle fits the mall exceeds the number of people whose lifestyle is a match for Corydon.

Prairie Chicken... said...

I used to work at Sugar Mountain (both locations) and what always got me was the location at the Forks. We'd be open till 11pm but everything else in the Market (aside from the boozey spots) would shut by 7 or 9pm. We always had a steady stream of foot traffic and sales were good. Corydon is much the same way.... if you stay open people will shop.