New promotional ideas to keep kids, shoppers busy and help improve parking
By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(April 19, 2018) Berlin Economic and Community Development Director Ivy Wells is working on several promotions to keep people moving downtown.
For visitors, Wells has ideas for both children and adults.
The first, geared toward children, will be called “Berlin Hide and Seek.”
“Kids basically walk around town and they look for some of these items, and they have to determine where they are,” she said during a Town Council meeting last Monday. “It gets them to look up instead of looking down at their phones.”
Checklists will be available at downtown shops and can be turned in for prizes, Wells said.
“It’s probably just going to be a blowup beach ball with a Berlin logo on it – something cute like that,” she said.
The second, “Berlin Shop, Search and Solve,” is aimed at grownups.
“It’s like a ‘Wheel of Fortune’ [game] and letters will be put in the windows,” she said. “People walk around, they try to solve the puzzle, and then the businesses are pitching in … there will be a drawing every month and the winner will win ‘Berlin Bucks’ [good at downtown stores].”
Wells is also tackling parking concerns in Berlin, but said there is not so much a “parking problem” as there is “a walking problem.”
“With the [new] way-finding signs, hopefully that helps solve some of that,” she said. “I think what happens is … as a new person coming into town, you automatically look for signs on where to go for parking, and if a parking lot is full, people are just driving around because there’s no direction for them where else to go.”
She said a new sign would be placed near Tripoli Street, pointing toward Stephen Decatur Park, which has ample free parking. Using a Fitbit, Wells said she measured about 500 steps from the park to downtown.
“We’re going to have a sign at Decatur Park that says it’s only 520 steps to get to downtown,” she said. “I’m also going to think of some cute ways – almost like a game – for people to be able to get from Decatur Park to downtown.”
Further addressing parking, Wells encouraged downtown business owners and their employees to park in the St. Paul’s Church parking lot on Church Street.