Roger’s Hometown Hockey Shone a National Spotlight on Collingwood … for Hours!
Collingwood Mayor Brian Saunderson welcomes Hockey Night in Canada’s Ron MacLean to Collingwood for Rogers Hometown Hockey
Hometown Hockey Celebrates The Good Life We All Enjoy in Collingwood
Ron MacLean and Tara Slone hosted Rogers Hometown Hockey, a nationally televised broadcast originating from downtown Collingwood.
— photo courtesy Rogers Hometown Hockey
The Town of Collingwood scored big with Rogers Hometown Hockey’s national broadcast from the town’s main street. Ron MacLean and Tara Slone provided news and commentary that portrayed Collingwood as one of Canada’s most picturesque communities in which to live. From an economic development point of view, Collingwood received a Holiday Gift from Rogers Sportsnet that no advertising campaign could match.
Rogers Hometown Hockey partnered with the Collingwood Frozen In Time Festival to provide entertainment on the main street stage.
The Collingwood Lightning girls hockey team presented Ron MacLean and Tara Slone with hockey jerseys.
While the evenet was a huge success in terms of a made-for-television event, there was concern from some downtown merchants who felt that having Hurontario Street between Second and Third Street closed for a number of days hurt retail sales during the most critical selling time of the year.
The problem centred around set-up of the event and the closure of the middle block of Hurontario Street for two days prior to the event taking place. This resulted in the elimination of all parking on the centre block.
In retail, December is the month that can make or break the financial success for an entire year. The time period between Christmas and New Years in Collingwood is a busy time for sales as winter outdoor enthusiasts flock to town to enjoy the holidays.
Last Fall, amid growing frustration by some downtown business operators, downtown merchants were asked to submit comments to the Business Improvement Area Board with regards to events in the downtown district. More specifically, they were asked to comment on street closures.
When is it good for business to close Hurontario Street to vehicular traffic? Suggestions from the survey will play a role in the planning and implementation of special events for Downtown Collingwood in 2019.
Hurontario Street was closed to vehicular traffic during the Rogers Hometown Hockey/Frozen in Time Festival.
LOOKING BACK …
Downtown Collingwood merchants are being asked to submit comments to the Business Improvement Area Board with regards to events in the downtown district, and more specifically, their views on street closures.
Many Event Committees See Collingwood’s Main Street as a Perfect Location
In the latest BIA Newsletter, Board Chair Penny Skelton said Collingwood’s downtown is the envy of many and as a result, many event organizers can easily visualize their event on the main street.
In light of recent push back from many downtown merchants with regards to the three days of lost parking during the Urban Camping event, Skelton said the BIA board shares some frustrations, adding that the board needs merchant engagement to improve the situation.
Urban Camping event consumed a large number of prime parking spots on Collingwood’s main street
Skelton said Third Party Special Events are a permit issued event authorized by the Town of Collingwood, adding that a process is in place for review by all Department Heads and the BIA. This has been circulated for input, comment and recommendations.
The annual Collingwood Elvis Festival’s future is up for discussion. The three day festival results in a number of road closures throughout the downtown ditrict.
“Since the Elvis Festival, we have had three 3rd party events which required different types of closures on the Hurontario / Side Streets. The Car Show required closure of Hurontario/Second and Simcoe Streets and this past weekend, the Air Stream event closed off parking on Hurontario Street but kept the flow of traffic down the main street. Also, the Diner en Blanc on Simcoe Street required the element of surprise regarding the location.”
Skelton has asked the membership to comment on the following:
1. Are you in favour of events on Hurontario Street?
2. If event requires street closure – how many times per year would you support a street closure?
3. Would you support a one day street closure special event?
4. Should special events in the downtown core be only permitted for the off-street parking lots?
5. Additional Comments?
There are two planned downtown events prior to the close of 2018 that will require the closing of some streets.
The Collingwood Santa Claus Parade will be held on Saturday November 17th, and the Hometown Hockey/Frozen In Time Festival will be held from December 27th to 30th.
Skelton said communication is a key issue. The lack of good communication was evident with the arrival of the airstream trailers much to the surprise of some of the downtown merchants.
Scott Hunermund, the owner of At Home Interiors in downtown Collingwood, says he was not informed of the event until the night prior to the trailers arriving on the main street.
“I came into work on Thursday to find two blocks fo the main street blocked off and those spaces filled with Air Stream trailers. To make matters worse the street will be closed off to parking for customers until Sunday.”
Hunermund’s comments were echoed by many merchants.
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