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PPR visitors center WEB
This empty storefront at 30 City Hall Place in Plattsburgh will soon become a visitor center to help boost activity in the downtown area. The Plattsburgh Downtown Association, Plattsburgh Renewal Project and First Weekends are working together to open the space in the near future. (Gabe Dickens/P-R Photo)

Downtown community, visitors center planned

By: DAN HEATH

PLATTSBURGH — A new center promoting downtown is slated to open here on June 1.

Members of the Plattsburgh Downtown Association, Plattsburgh Renewal Project and First Weekends are working together to open the space, tentatively called the Downtown Community and Visitors Center.

It would be located at 30 City Hall Place, the former Mountain Riders location across from Trinity Park.

Downtown Association President Colin Read said the space is under lease and that renovations, including new hardwood floors, are underway. He said it will be WiFi equipped.

They would like the space to be available to local musicians and artists, Read said.

“We want it to have an art gallery feel,” he said.

It could also serve as a place to distribute literature about the city, particularly the downtown area. Businesses would be invited to put on demonstrations of what they offer, Read said.

“The whole idea is to use that site to help all of us raise the awareness of our businesses.”

The space could also serve as a location to start and end local tour routes.

Read said they have already raised $1,500 for a set of raised metal plaques to mark significant sites on a walking-tour route and are seeking input from the city and county historians on which locations would qualify.

It could also be used to host First Weekends events in the case of inclement weather.

SPONSORS SOUGHT

Tim McCormick of First Weekends said they are moving away from having each event have its own theme, but there will be several agriculturally themed demonstrations this year. 

Michael Kribs of the First Weekends Marketing Committee said they are continuing to suggest that businesses offer Friday visitors a Saturday discount if they return.

“This is a good way to funnel business downtown and support the downtown businesses,” he said.

Businesses can limit those offers as they see fit, such as making them available only on select merchandise, McCormick said.

They continue to look for business sponsors, with a range of prices based on the number of employees and what level of exposure is desired.

BUSINESS MAP

The association continues to distribute the first version of its Downtown Plattsburgh business map and listing. 

Smooth Moves owner Joe Kovacs said he found out they could make the pamphlets available on all the boats on the Cumberland Head/Grand Isle ferry run for $250 a year, and he thinks they should look into that.

They are hoping to create a second version later this year, with listings available at $75, $25 and free, depending on the type of exposure desired.

Read suggested they form a subcommittee to liaison with City Councilors Rachelle Armstrong and Joshua Kretser, who have both been attending the Downtown Association meetings.

The next association meeting is tentatively scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday, May 19, at a location to be determined.

Email Dan Heath:dheath@pressrepublican.com

MAY FIRST WEEKENDS

Events are free, but people can buy $10 buttons to support First Weekends and receive discounts at downtown establishments.

TODAY

  • Guest Bartender Event. 5 to 8 p.m., Chefy's Bar and Grill, 124 Margaret St., Plattsburgh. Jay Lesage and Haley McGivney perform. Art show by Donna Austin.

SATURDAY, MAY 4

  • Fun at City Hall Place. 1 to 5 p.m., hands-on activities for kids.
  • City Fire Department and City Police Department equipment.
  • Champlain Valley Transportation Museum and Kids Station activities.
  • Gardening events from Grow Buddies Organic Gardening Supplies, Cornell Cooperative Extension master gardeners and Plattsburgh Community Gardens.
  • Performances by Liesa & the Masouda World Dance Ensemble, Jay Lesage, Haley McGiveney and children's musician the Dirty Diapers. Mambo Combo. 5 p.m., City Hall Place stage, concert presented by Champlain Wine Company.
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