Business Attraction Marketing Plan

In 2013, a Downtown Vitalization Action Plan was put together and recommended attracting businesses and consumers to Downtown Cobourg.  Although a number of initiatives have been completed (see links below) the marketing portion has been in preparation for over a year.  The plan is going before council once again on November 13 with a request for the expenditure of $40K to be approved.  The plan includes a large amount of research and facts – some of which was published November 10 on Cobourg News Blog here (Downtown Vacancies).  It’s also clear what the objective is – to get more businesses in Downtown Cobourg.  But although the Town, the Chamber of Commerce and the DBIA are united in their intent to work together towards this goal, there does not seem to be any magic bullet which will make this happen.

Businesses targeted

Based on surveys of the public and some data that supports the surveys, the effort will focus on attracting businesses in these categories:

  • Supermarkets and other grocery stores
  • Clothing accessories stores.
  • Women’s clothing stores
  • All other specialty food stores
  • All other clothing stores
  • Full service restaurant – with preference being a “mid-scale family restaurant”;

The idea is that some or all of these should make use of vacant properties as listed in the earlier post.

Plan Summary

The following plan has an estimated cost of $39,600

Phase I – Preparation (2 months)

  • A half day brainstorming session with all 3 partners to determine the focus and theme of the advertising campaign to be undertaken.
  • Economic Development, Communications and DBIA staff will hire and coordinate the activities of a creative writer, photographer and videographer.

Phase II – Research (1 Month)

Internet research in two areas:

  • On-line advertising venues and timelines
  • Potential businesses to target for a second location in Cobourg.

Information gathered will be used to personally connect with potential target businesses.

Phase III – Implementation (6 Months)

Organizing and host an “Explore The Core” event, preparing client packages in both digital and print, commencing social media posts, completing the content and launching the web page, creating on-line ads through the services of a graphic designer and attending four trade shows.

Phase IV – Tracking Progress/Goals

Monthly progress reports will be provided to the Downtown Coalition and adjustments to the plan may be made.

Or to put it very succinctly, do some Internet Research, attend some Trade Shows and sell prospects on why they should come to set up business in Cobourg.  Do this with a web site, social media and promotional graphics and videos.

The benefits of Cobourg will be promoted – these are seen to be:

  • Small town atmosphere/streetscape
  • Easy access
  • Opportunities driven from tourism, walk-ins, close proximity to the beach
  • Proximity to other services, including parking

Key marketing messages:

  • Downtown Cobourg is known as the “gem of Lake Ontario” for its prime location on the lakeshore between Toronto and Kingston, and its beautiful waterfront.
  • A consistent strategy, tone of voice and emotional content that will get prospective businesses to set up or relocate their business in Downtown Cobourg!
  • Open a business in a vibrant, active downtown atmosphere with high sales opportunities, accessible parking and outstanding marketing support services.
  • Downtown Cobourg has a dynamic approach to business with its prime location close to Lake Ontario between Toronto and Kingston, and 500 metres of pristine waterfront.
  • Downtown Cobourg is home to a number of anchor businesses including multiple financial institutions, healthcare practices, restaurants and coffee shops that promote consumer traffic to this area.
  • Downtown Cobourg is a four season tourism destination that attracts thousands of visitors each year looking to enjoy our local shops and services.

While most of us would agree with the objective, not all would agree that this plan will make any significant difference.  It seems to be more of the same.  I hope I’m wrong.

Update – Council approved this at their Committee of the Whole meeting on November 13.

Update 20 November 2017

This has now been fully approved at the regular council meeting.

Links

 

Click to Notify me of
Wally Keeler

This a message is to all those pathetic pseudonyms who denigrate creativity and imaginative ideas:

CREATIVE CITY by DAVID YENCKEN
“It advocates that a culture of creativity be embedded in how urban stakeholders operate. By encouraging and legitimizing the use of imagination within the public, private and community spheres, the ideas bank of possibilities and potential solutions to any urban problem will be broadened. This requires infrastructures beyond the hardware—buildings, roads or sewage. Creative infrastructure is a combination of the hard and the soft. The latter includes the mindset of a city’s citizens, how they approach opportunities and problems; and the city’s atmosphere and incentives and regulatory regime. To be a creative city the soft infrastructure includes: a highly skilled and flexible labour force; dynamic thinkers, creators and implementers.”

Dubious

To be a creative city the soft infrastructure includes: a highly skilled and flexible labour force; dynamic thinkers, creators and implementers.

It is a shame that many of the most prolific, non-pseudonymous, posters lack any of these qualities.

Frenchy

Have you ever used a pseudonym Wally?

Wally Keeler

Pedestrian crossings are generally pretty boring. Sure they serve a vital function, but most of them are just unimaginative strips of white lines across gray stretches of tarmac. For Bulgarian artist Christo Guelov however, crossings aren’t boring at all. Well, not when he’s finished with them anyway.
The artist is turning crossings in Madrid into colorful pieces of art as part of his project called Funnycross. Using striking colors and geometric designs, Guelov breathes life into otherwise stale public installations. “Funnycross uses zebra crossings to intervene in the urban landscape,” writes the artist. “The metaphor “A bridge between two shores” is the starting point of this artistic intervention.”

https://www.boredpanda.com/madrids-crosswalks-turned-into-colorful-works-of-art-by-bulgarian-artist/

Frenchy

There is nothing fresh, new or creative about any of your ideas. You’ve copied coloured sidewalks and crosswalks from New York and Port Hope, coloured snow from some German guy, led light shows from just about every town but Cobourg, you’re just rehashing someone else’s creativity and imagination and calling them your own.
Fresh, new, creative indeed.

Susie-Q

Well said.

Frenchy

Oops, sorry, I thought I was responding to something Wally wrote in his post. Turns out it was just a cut/paste job from the Bored Panda website. Not only did he post those exact words as if they were his own, he didn’t even give credit to the original author James Gould-Bourn.
Here Wally, you might want to bookmark this web site for future use.
https://smallseotools.com/plagiarism-checker/
Fresh, new, creative… indeed.

Wally Keeler

Economic Development, Communications and DBIA staff will hire and coordinate the activities of a creative writer, photographer and videographer

Ha ha ha. I produced a single video of driving thru Cobourg that garnered more views than all of the videos produced by Cobourg Tourism. I’ve produced other videos re Cobourg that garnered far more views than Cobourg Tourism. There is a reason that — mediocrity. All of the videos reflect formulaic mediocrity. They are bankrupt of any creative ideas, and in that regard, they reflect all of the commentators on this thread as well as the municipal bureaucraps.

Lots of grump, gripe and groan, but bereft of any fresh ideas, new ideas, creative ideas, any ideas other than grump, groan and gripe.

Frenchy

Here’s a new, imaginative, creative idea that could help the downtown businesses… get rid of those stupid sidewalk bulb outs and the dumb bollards that go with them!
Delivery trucks will be able to park in the curb lane and not block half of King Street.
More parking for customers on King Street.
Less chance of accidents at night.
Easier snow clearing operations.
Smoother flow of traffic.

Who ever thought to put them in, in the first place? Hope they’re not still around

Kyle

Unfortunately they are still around. In fact they are our present CAO

Wally Keeler

That’s about as imaginative as your dime-a-dozen pseudonym. But if you believe it, then make your arguments To Town Council to have them removed. Are you afraid to stand up for what is right? Do you feel inadequate to make such a pitch, openly and with accountability. Of course, you’d have to ditch the boring pseudonym when you appear before Council.

Your idea to have to buttouts removed is far from being creative. Obviously you have no idea how to be creative or imaginative. You just grump, gripe and grate.

Frenchy

How do you know if I did or didn’t make this known to council?

Have you ever used a pseudonym Wally?

Sarah Coupland

I’ll mention again as i have before, there is one giant influencing factor that is often missed in this discussion–vacant rental units. If we want our stores downtown to have a steady stream of foot traffic and have a better shot at staying open then we need to focus a plan on having more people live in the downtown area! There are lots of vacant stores, but there are also lots of vacant rental units above those stores. Our vacancy rate is almost non-existent, yet in the middle of the downtown we have multiple buildings with empty rental units. It’s a shame…we could really use the living space. And more people living downtown would mean there are more people using the shops downtown as well, making them more viable.

Dubious

With a vacancy rate that “is almost non-existent” why do you think that we “have multiple buildings with empty rental units” downtown? Could it possibly be their poor state of repair, vermin, distance to shopping or lack of parking?

Steven G.

I live downtown, right in the heart of downtown and one of the worst things about living downtown is the noise of the loud obnoxious cars and those that think we like to listen to the music they play in their cars. On a good sunny fresh air day in the summer, I have my windows fully open and can’t even hear myself think … and then the DBIA or whomever feel it necessary to play loud music festivals downtown without any regard to the tenants that live there .. why can’t we live in some sort of peace and quiet .. move the music festival to the damn park … just my two cents worth … and yes Shoppers should open a produce section and expand their grocery section …problem for grocery shopping downtown solved.

Sarah Coupland

I have been in a number of the buildings and they are not in suitable condition to rent. They have been left to deteriorate, and many of the owners don’t see the benefit in updating to rent out. As an active real estate investor and property manager i can attest that the investment in spending money to create decent livable rental units can be profitable, unfortunately the current owners must not see it that way and prefer to keep them vacant.

perplexed

The demise of Peaches was purely Costs being to high Rents at $10.- + per sq ft plus the limited parking spaces which were hit and miss and used by all the residents, boaters and vacationers in the area Plus requirements put on it by the Town and Condo Corp. with Fees most of which go to the Town by the way in one form or another . The Peach store was required to have approx. 16 underground parking spaces which attracted both Tax and Maintenance fees of at that time were around $80.– per month per space — a lot of the Common fees are heat, light — and again taxes on the common area going to the Town. It was a known fact that the Peach store was a Blessing to the Locals and contributed much to the area , but it was determined that the Bulk of the weekly shopping by those in the area was still done at Major food chains as their product / volume cost were considerably less and was passed on to the public consumer . The Peach store became a local spot to pick up small and last minute items , which… Read more »

jonnycake

For the past 50 years I have summered across the bay from Picton, in the “County”.I have watched it change from a crude army depot where you passed through as quickly as possible to a town with vibrant downtown. Passing through is not easy now as all of the available parking is in use.
Yes they now have an attraction in the local winery’s, but like Cobourg this is limited to seasonal interest. What they do have is someone to organize and coordinate events of differing nature year around. Something of interest every other week year around. They do not have an attractive waterfront, they are not close to populated urban centers and they lack the draw of a Walmart superstore,
Perhaps instead of dreaming of downtown local success we could send another overpaid consultant to Picton and report back how they have accomplished the seemingly impossible.
Note that they have lost many old downtown buildings with strategic midwinter fires, perhaps not something we should try.

Wally Keeler

What they do have is someone to organize and coordinate events of differing nature year around. we could send another overpaid consultant to Picton and report back how they have accomplished the seemingly impossible.”

That ‘someone‘ likely has something that is largely missing from Cobourg — imagination and creativity. Read the comments on this thread, and we can see that Cobourg sorely needs something to counter the grey-sidewalk mediocrity.

Bryan

The targeted business segments are grocery & food, clothing and restaurants. I’m sure that the current downtown clothing shops will welcome the competition.
Given the number of vacant former restaurant sites in the downtown, it seems that suggesting more restaurants would be a non-starter. Perhaps someone has some insight into why Papa John’s Pizza selected the former Avid Books site instead of one downtown.
TNS Health Food Organic Supermarket relocated to Burnham & Elgin, not downtown. Why?
Some insight into the departure of the Peaches Grocery store could also be helpful.
As noted by the Market & Smor folks (Draper March 2017). Their market research included talking to a lot of people in Cobourg so they understand about the Peaches saga and that there are already enough coffee shops in town.
Strange that the Town’s EcDev dept hasn’t figured this out. Instead they blindly soldier on down the path to failure.

Wally Keeler

Strange that the Town’s EcDev dept hasn’t figured this out. Instead they blindly soldier on down the path to failure.

The EcDev dept is bereft of creativity and imagination. You asked good questions, but no original ideas to answer with. Oh well!

gerinator

Unlike others I don’t believe that there is a mass of obvious reasons for Businesses not locating in Cobourg. Along with the couple of obvious reasons are many subjective, nimby reasons thrashed around. I also agree with Ben in that we may be asking the wrong questions. I may have missed it, ‘tween the lines above, but I don’t see an investigation of why businesses are not locating in Cobourg. I see where we are attempting to be directive but are we listening to the respondents, noting their concerns/speed bumps and seeing how these issues could be overcome – and I don’t mean V13 and/or CIVI. Those companies who wish to use a CIVI are looking for handouts not a sustainable, long term relationship with Cobourg and/or its citizens.

Wally Keeler

And what your fresh ideas to vitalize the downtown? I noticed that your comment lacks any suggestions other than grump, gripe and groan.

Dubious

In my humble opinion the downtown doesn’t require “vitalization” since that would follow inextricably if sufficient downtown merchants provided a service or good that a reasonable number of people want/need at a price that they can afford from an establishment that is appealing and open when they want to shop. Obvious example of such, in Cobourg, are the Home Plate restaurant on Elgin, Walmart, Canadian Tire and Northumberland Tirecraft. All have a healthy number of customers. Rather than putting our tax dollars into making Cobourg an affordable and attractive community we squander countless thousands trying to make businesses in downtown successful. To quote some popular expressions: “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” and “You can’t help those who won’t help themselves.”. Stop trying!

Wally Keeler

Just as predicted: zero fresh ideas, zero creativity, zero imagination.

perplexed

Finally some one that understands that Tourists only come in Tourist season we are not in Ski or Ski doo country . We used to close our business ever yr right after Christmas sales & New Years festivities and not open again until some time in April when the snow birds return , and we survived on our seasonal earnings otherwise we spent the profits we made in the busy season on just staying open and yes we laid off the staff as well . Another thing is that no one supported us other than our patrons There was no CIPI etc Grants either your business & product or food if you are a resturant was good enough to attract , hold and keep people / customers coming back the idea of Tax Payers and Town bailing us out never crossed our minds a lax non competitive business operator just didn’t survive . You were up to speed with the market and what the public wanted or you weren’t . You as any business operator had to evolve . The idea that the Town will do it for you or a person in an Economic Development office or a study… Read more »

Frenchy

I don’t know if that was very well written, but it was extremely well said!

Bill Thompson

Consider that Marie Dressler’s house is /was the only real thing that may be considered “touristy” in Cobourg ,and it was closed down and put to some other use.
Victoria beach and park are the only real reasons that “visitors” (called tourists for some reason or other) come to Cobourg to enjoy the long “white sandy beach” and lake.
Unfortunately fthe economic benefit to the town is minimal as they come fully equipped for their day at the beach and pay very little attention to the town,except to find a parking spot yet the town focus is locked on tourism as the main emphasis for economical survival and spend thousands of dollars looking for the one thing that will turn Cobourg into a bustling tourist attraction.
The four season hotel/spa etc suggestion was just one example in a desperate attempt to be the main attraction for year round touriism but one can only look at a frozen lake and harbour (available most places in winter) without driving very far from home to see the fallacy of that wishful dream.

Wally Keeler

... one can only look at a frozen lake and harbour (available most places in winter) without driving very far from home to see the fallacy of that wishful dream.

That is all the vast majority of people see. A German artist a few years ago in Berlin used two ski hill snow making machines, McGyvered a reservoir to each filled with food-coloured water. He used these machines to cover the entire park grounds surrounding the gallery with coloured snow. That could be used to colour the entire beach.

The lighthouse could be rigged with led lighting (very inexpensive) all over its exterior. Invite students and artists to program light shows. The lighting could be altered for different occasions, green for St Patrick’s day, red and white for Canada Day, etc.

Embed four or five 8-foot rebars on the extension of the west pier. They can be slightly bent or leaning. During the winter months, while waves crash over the pier and freeze, the rebars will catch the spray of this storm and make interesting ice sculptures that could be illuminated.

just three throwaway ideas to add colour to winter.

Dubious

Perhaps fun but how, exactly, will these ideas “vitalize” a derelict downtown that appears to be owned by slumlords renting to plodding merchants looking for a handout?

Wally Keeler

People are attracted to FUN. Children love FUN. Adults also. They like the surprise of something new, something unique and original. Not the same old grey sidewalks and pathetic black asphalt pastures of our Malls of Mediocrity that you praise so much. Wow! What an uber grump, gripe and groan you are to denigrate FUN in favour of boredom.

Wally Keeler

Day trippers and weekenders to Cobourg bring a lot of loot and leave a lot of loot. I have seen many of the videos that these ‘visitors’ make of Cobourg. Often they are more imaginative and effective and gain more views than those produced by Cobourg Tourism. Also you can see in these videos how often they go uptown to buy food to be consumed in the park or beach. There’s a video of a south-Asian family coming to Cobourg, buying $200+ on groceries for their stay and renting a cottage just outside of town for the weekend. Daytrippers and weekenders are a net benefit to Cobourg. Ask the Breakers Motel. Ask Best Western.

Dubious

Are you seriously suggesting that the interests of Breakers Motel and Best Western align with those of the average Cobourg resident? I fail to comprehend why a typical resident would spend a penny to help a motel succeed. Do you or any member of your family earn a living from changing bedding and cleaning toilets at a motel? Is that the sort of job that you want for your kids?

Tim McTimtimmytim

Not surprised to see you demeaning peoples occupation. My wife actually works at a hotel cleaning rooms to supplement our income. It’s a part-time job and perfect for our situation. Many of her tips end up in the hands of happy downtown merchants as we use them to spend on otherwise frivolous things. This is how the local economy works but of course it flies right over your head.

Wally Keeler

Regardless of Dubious’s demeaning and snobbish condescending attitude, I quite respect your family decisions to work hard and add to the prosperity to Cobourg, even though it might not meet the extravagant expectations of Dubious.

Pierre

Those are very demeaning remarks about those who work in the hospitality industry.
People who work in the hospitality industry work very hard.
We shop and eat in restaurants downtown, and have stayed in Cobourg hotels. Have put family up in hotels in Cobourg.
Also go to the restaurant in the Best Western.
We love Cobourg and all that it offers.

Dubious

Demeaning or not, it is reality that the majority of hospitality industry jobs pay close to minimum wage and that is not sufficient to support a family. And there was never an intention to imply that most in the business didn’t work hard.

The problem with using tax dollars to promote tourism, or any other business, is that it is unfair to other businesses and their workers. I’m certain that almost everyone would object to using taxes to support accountants, lawyers, plumbers or auto mechanics. Why treat retail and hospitality workers differently?

Wally Keeler

Retail and hospitality workers get no tourist dollars from anyone.

Dubious

Perhaps not directly. However, significant public monies are squandered on attracting tourists to the detriment of the general population.

Wally Keeler

Cobourg receives more income from tourists than is spent on tourists. Quit spreading fake news Dubious.

Dubious

Perhaps you would be willing to provide credible numbers that prove your assertion? Don’t forget to account for the negative impact of tourists on the enjoyment of Cobourg by locals.

Wally Keeler

Ask Cobourg tourism for the numbers. Tourists keep many businesses afloat in Cobourg.

“negative impact of tourists on the enjoyment of Cobourg by locals.”

I’ve enjoyed Victoria Park for 70 years. I might have a thing or two to tell you about the “locals” as you put it.

The only “locals” I know who grump, gripe, groan and moan are the pathetic pseudonyms on this board. All of my friends, family and acquaintance with whom I grew up appreciate the value that daytrippers and weekenders bring to Cobourg.

Many young people made friends with visiting young people during the summer. They networked. When they went to the city to go to college, they had an acquaintance to share rent. Many visitors like what they saw when they came here, and later retired here. These are all positive benefits.

Back to you Dubious; what creative idea do you have to make the downtown better?

Dubious

The harbour coal and tank storage facilities kept many businesses afloat in Cobourg. Shouldn’t we fight to get them back? Your “logic” is lacking!

All of my friends, family and acquaintance with whom I grew up appreciate the value that daytrippers and weekenders bring to Cobourg.

It is truly sad that you don’t know anyone who understands economics.

If you feel that it is of great value to bring retirees here then why not concentrate on that rather than tourism?

Wally Keeler

Still no creative fresh or new ideas from the boring plain and mediocre.

I much prefer young people with their imaginations intact than boring burnt out retirees. And that includes the crowds of young daytrippers and weekenders. They add some fresh blood to the Town, if only briefly.

Remove the tourists and this town will be as quiet and peaceful as a cemetary, and much impoverished.

Dubious

It is irrelevant what YOU prefer. What do most residents prefer?

Frenchy

The only “locals” I know who grump, gripe, groan and moan are the pathetic pseudonyms on this board.

Have you ever used a pseudonym Wally?

Susie-Q

Wally, how much is the town receiving from those tourists that they have gone to great lengths to attract? I am especially curious to know how much the beach goers really do spend while in town. You would think that there would be a lot more foot traffic on King Street considering how many are using your beach.

The historic community where I live is flooded by tourists during the nicer months of the year. Great for businesses that struggle during the winter, however, not so great for members of the community. In order to avoid the masses on our main street, I go for my walk and coffee much earlier during the day to avoid the crowds. With regards to Cobourg, I have leaned to avoid weekends during the summer months. I would think that there are many members of your community who feel that they have lost their beach to tourists. Fine and dandy as long as those tourists are dropping some coin and not just using the “freebie” that Cobourg has to offer.

Wally Keeler

I’ve addressed this before, on this blog, on other blogs and in the local newspapers. Go look for it, instead of waiting to be spoon-fed. Also go look at the thousands of videos in YouTube that daytrippers and weekenders made about their visit to Cobourg. Several do a better job of promoting Cobourg than the mediocre videos made by Cobourg Tourism. I recommend that Cobourg not waste a penny more on the production of tourist videos because visitors do a better job and do it for free (that’s for all you stale tightwads out there) There are literally hundreds of days in the year when Cobourg residents have the pleasure of solitary walks on the beach. There are less than 20 days in the year when the beach is crowded. Summer weekdays its mostly locals only. There is a lot of flirt and frolic during the summer amongst young people. It broadens the pool of choice for Cobourg youths. It’s an opportunity for them to meet other young people from the big city, to network and make connections, to have friends when the time comes to go to college elsewhere. I grew up here and I recall just how important… Read more »

Susie-Q

Hello again, Wally! Firstly, I am not a pensioner but someone who is still raising a family. Due to this, I can’t spend a lot of time researching your blog/newspaper history and never expect to be “spoon fed”. It just sounded like you had some figures at the top of your head that you would be willing to share. No?? Okay. I am no stranger to Cobourg. My family has a very deep history in the town and I have spent many summers visiting my grandmother throughout my childhood and youth. I remember the beach fondly. It is wonderful that the youth you refer to are having fun, making friends and networking for their future. However, I believe the more pressing issue here is helping the businesses of Cobourg (especially along King Street) . It is possible that you know these youth are spending lots of money while in town. I have been to the beach many times and don’t really notice much interaction between the tourists. Quite frankly, they enjoy the beach for the day and stick to themselves. I can only hope that they are spending some money while visiting. By the way, some tourists do cause problems… Read more »

Dubious

Correct. There is nothing paid directly to hospitality workers but we squander considerable amounts to encourage tourism. I am not aware of any town funded advertising to aid auto mechanics. Why the difference?

Wally Keeler

Virtually every community in Ontario includes Town promotion. Dubious thinks there should be no budget whatsoever to promote Cobourg. I believe there should be a budget but that it should be spent more wisely and effectively to compete with other municipalities. Dubious’s attitude is to let tourism to Cobourg wither and die. How pathetic and unimaginative is that?

Wally Keeler

You still have not come up with a single original imaginative idea to benefit the Town. Nothing. Pathetic. Just grump, gripe and groan. The point is that tourists come here and spend money, lots of it. Your bland gland is overactive Dubious.

Wally Keeler

Are you seriously suggesting that Cobourg would be better off if the Breaker Motel and Best Western didn’t make any money from tourists? How does that help the average Cobourg resident? What about the family that bought over $200 from Cobourg’s Walmart, and rented a nearby residence for the weekend? What about the restaurants that tourists frequent. Would Cobourg be better off without tourist money being spent here?

Only a condescending self-centred snob would denigrate the employment of hard-working people.

Dubious

How does the Breakers benefit the typical Cobourg family? You seem confused by the mythical family that spent $200 at Walmart. Spending $200 didn’t add $200 to Cobourg salaries or to Cobourg investor’s income; the vast majority only helped families in China.

Wally Keeler

Nothing mythical about the family that spent $200+ at Walmart. They made a video of themselves having fun and showed the receipt, thereby putting the lie to your contention and to the contention of other selfish grumps who ludicrously claim that tourists bring no benefit to Cobourg. And there’s nothing mythical about your lack of creativity.

Dubious

The “myth” appears to be that you understand economics. Just because a visitor spent $200 does not imply that $200 went into the Cobourg economy. Most of the $200 was to replenish Chinese manufactured inventory at Walmart. I doubt that $20 of the amount spent ended in the pockets of Cobourgians and available to fund their personal purchases. That a tourist had fun is irrelevant to improving the life of anyone in Cobourg. Why do you find it so difficult to accept that tourists are a net expense for Cobourg residents?

Wally Keeler

Individual business owners will thrive or die on their own wit or lack thereof. However, the public domain of downtown Cobourg belongs to all of us. So what fresh ideas do you have to make the downtown compelling to visit? Any?

Susie-Q

The “historic village” where I currently live has faced many challenges over the years in terms of keeping the main street alive. I have seen many businesses come and go. It seems that the only ones that have a chance are those in the food services…restaurants, coffee shops,ice cream parlours, etc. Tourists flock to the area during the warmer months, but businesses appear to suffer more throughout the winter. I imagine it’s not easy, especially with the high taxes and rental costs. The big box stores of today are definitely driving away business from small town main streets like King Street in Cobourg. Sad. As a side note, I do like the idea of a grocery store being located in the downtown core. All the best, Cobourg!

Wally Keeler

Have you no imagination or ideas to make winter unique?

Walter Luedtke

Bit off topic, but
could we have the Christmas music blaring downtown restricted to a few days before the 25th?

Steven G.

In total agreement with this statement …

Rhonda

Shouldn’t this project be a business function of the three partners, embedded in their daily work? Why the need for more funds? If our marketing department can’t write, meet, research, take pictures and sell, then what is it they do?

Dubious

Our marketing department accomplishes nothing other than collect a salary plus plan for a pension? The good news is that Ms. Gibson’s retirement will not be a loss to the town; consultants can continue to accomplish nothing but at considerable expense!

Wally Keeler

You are absolutely correct about the marketing department and its mediocrity. They are bereft of any fresh ideas, creative ideas, imaginative ideas to improve the downtown. Much like yourself.

Wally Keeler

They produce mediocrity on a mass scale.

perplexed

I agree with Dubious there is only common factor to years of a failing downtown
If you had hired any other service provider that continuously failed to perform
one might think of getting a new one . All the money spent on studies and research is
a complete waste if the persons interpreting that info has no idea as to what it means
or how to interpret it and effectively act on it .
There are so many obvious reasons for Not opening a Business in the downtown that
are deliberately and continuously ignored .

Wally Keeler

It’s one thing to gripe, grump and groan — easy peezy to do — but do you have any ideas how to vitalize the downtown? Just one original idea? Just one?

Ewok

Almost as frustrating as Cobourg’s downtown situation is Wally incessant requests for unique, original ideas, as though he planned on packaging them up and presenting to Council. The grim truth about the downtown core is there may not be anything that can be done, from a retail perspective. E-commerce is dominating and Canadian are spending more online – this is not a fade, trend or blip. In the traditional sense, downtowns as we know them are no longer sustainable. Someone earlier mentioned the need to increase residential living downtown and this is critical. This will create much needed foot traffic, sense of downtown community, financial transactions and breath life onto the streets – however Shoppers Drug Mart will probably dominate the day-to-day transactions (milk, bread, tp, cough medicine). I would also suggest the Town provide annual parking passes to permanent residents of Cobourg. While there are several very good shops many are very niche, somewhat expensive and largely inconvenient to patronize (parking, hours of operation, product offering unknown). The first entrepreneur who opens a cannabis related retail space downtown will be laughing all the way to the bank – clearly this is a post-July 1 business venture. I once pitched… Read more »

Deborah OConnor

Entrepreneurs are being driven out of the marijuana business by the Ontario government. It will be a very long time before we see one of the LCBO operated stores here, they aren’t even planning for one for Oshawa next year! They are the only retail stores that will be allowed, all under their own supervision.

Ewok

Deborah,
Motivated entrepreneurs will not even get a sniff at the selling of cannabis however there are many spin-off opportunities created – cafes (potentially), supplies, accessories, lifestyle items, etc… this is where money can be made.

Deborah OConnor

From my reading of the most recent announcement, the only place where it will be legal to use it is in one’s home, so no cafes for us. As for “supplies, accessories, lifestyle items” we’ve always had head shops to buy hash pipes, flavoured rolling papers and hookahs, and I’m not sure what else you would need. Not sure about the legality of those head shops, I think that “paraphrenalia” was all made illegal at one point.

The federal and provincial governments seem determined to take all the fun out of smoking dope. The Amsterdam dream will not be part of our experience here in Ontario.

Ewok

Yea I hear you Deborah – the Liberal government and the fun police will ensure smoking weed is as fun as a [insert uncomfortable medical procedure here]. But I’m not talking about a sketchy head shop…I’m talking about a retail shop that is inviting, professional, clean and trendy. Visit the Medicine Wheel…the place is clean, efficient, bright, trendy, etc…

Wally Keeler

In the 60s the Fun Police used to keep Victoria Park under surveillance from the second story windows of the Federal Building. During those heady days, Cobourg’s Victoria Park was well-known in southern Ontario as the place to go. Front page articles in the Globe & Mail, Peterborough Examiner, etc. sold a lot of papers covering Cobourg’s wacky weeders. I know a married couple outside Town who were able to pay off the mortgage to their farm in a few years from producing and selling weed. There were several dealers then doing successful business in Cobourg and they are doing good now.

Perhaps Cobourg should design a park for tokers.

Wally Keeler

Cobourg had its first head shop in the late 60s. It failed, even though a lot of Town tokers frequented it.

Wally Keeler

I once pitched the idea of an early spring wing-fest in Cobourg but this could easily be chili, burgers, beer, wine, etc….Take a page out of Taste of the Danforth – I haven’t seen it materialize.

There was a feeble attempt to replicate the Taste of Danforth. Good idea for early spring though. You should package your idea up and present it to Council instead of wasting your time on this thread of unimaginative individuals.

The downtown will never improve without citizen input, however, the only citizen input on this site is grump, gripe and groan. That solves NOTHING. What is needed are new ideas. I provide examples. In return, I get denigrated. That is what is wrong with this Town. Not only do the citizens on this forum lack imagination and creativity, they hold those factors in contempt. Pathetic.

Dubious

Unfortunately you have failed to supply any examples of imaginative and creative ideas that will “vitalize” the downtown. Coloured snow doesn’t a vibrant downtown make.

Wally Keeler

You have TOTALLY failed to produce and imaginative or creative idea in any regard whatsoever. Talk about the kettle …

Ewok

I agree Wally – there is a large degree of apathy everywhere. I think most people are simply suffering from fatigue. Dual incomes with 40+ hours per week, commuting, trying to be textbook parents hovering over their 2.5 kids with anxiety, depression and ADHD, one is in hockey, lacrosse and rugby and the other in volleyball, dance, gymnastics and axe throwing, pets (because everyone needs to have a dog) plus maintaining a home in a manner that rivals all the home reno shows on TLC – this is the reality in which many people find themselves today. Sure we can argue it is self-inflicted and we can tell them to declutter their lives however the fear of their recovering addict, adult children writing a book about how their deadbeat parents failed them, serves as motivation. All this to say most people can barely find time for family, friends and themselves let alone to develop creative ideas for events that have neither the time or energy to attend. I think this is also the issue to building a thriving downtown economy. Shopping for goods and services today, in general, is a means to an end, a necessary evil…I love to shop… Read more »

Susie-Q

Well said, Ewok.

Ewok

well said, Susie-Q! 🙂

Wally Keeler

That is an example of Ewok’s pathetic mediocrity.

Wally Keeler

It’s just an excuse to cover the fact that Ewok lacks creativity and the ability to bring fresh ideas to the table.

Ben

I don’t think I would know who you are if you continue to hide behind a pseudonym!

Wally Keeler

I raised a family just like everyone else. None of that interfered in manifesting my creative and imaginative ideas. I put on art shows, published. etc. Pathetic excuse EWOK.

Dubious

If not family then what is your excuse for having accomplished little of value? Are you not ashamed to have to peddle about town on a children’s toy?

Elaine

There is a young couple who have been trying to open up a grocery market on King st. for almost 12 months now but landlords are being difficult in negotiations. A good idea that is being implemented in other Ontario small towns is working with Tesla to install a bank of plug ins for electric cars. A sign on the 401 directs these drivers to the exit and into downtown. They stay and shop and eat while the car charges.. Of course, we have to rid our downtown of empty stores for this to be successful.

Dubious

This newest version of previous failed efforts could be funded at no additional cost to the taxpayers — use Ms. Gibson’s salary!

cornbread

Why should the taxpayers of any town subsidize the sales and service of Tesla or any other electric car company. If someone wants to open a service station for electric cars, let them open one just like Shell, Pioneer or any of the others and compete on a level playing field. And while we are at it, the Canadian and Ontario governments should end any price subsidies for electric cars…let them compete on a level playing field as well.

Elaine

you mis understood my post.Tesla foots the bill, at least they are in other towns.

my 2 cents

I think the owners of Markets&Smor have proven that they have a delicious, healthy product to sell and the right customer service attitude to sell it. Most agree that a food store downtown where you can get healthy food to go and buy, would be a huge plus to Cobourg. It is an outrage and indicative of the town’s inertia, that some budget from one of these many ‘revitializtion’ revenue streams can not be appropriated to this dedicated bright couple to get them going.

Dubious

The true outrage is that *ANY* taxpayer monies are being given to *ANY* businesses regardless of their customer service attitudes. Why not let businesses succeed or fail on their own merits rather than subsidizing some to the detriment of us all?

Bill Thompson

Perhaps a real break on their first year’s business rates would help the young couple get established as they are really keen to succeed and open to public inputs to become successful.
I believe when Peaches started up their business at the harbour condos their rates were $1700 a month if I recall conversation with them and they are an established business family in the Cobourg area I believe.
They lasted one year as their prices couldn’t compare with the others but their food quality was fresh and top class.

Wally Keeler

That bank of plug-ins will last only a few years before they have to be replaced for faster-charging ones, thereby defeating the project.

Ben

Perhaps after all of this expense and effort we may find that we have been asking the wrong questions and have made the wrong assumptions!

“Where is the demand and if that demand can be filled by an efficient retailer?”

For example most people agree that a grocery store would be a nice addition, but where are the grocery stores? Perhaps their marketing gurus are smarter than than ours and have concluded that the demand is insufficient.

Bryan

I’m reasonably sure that the store location folks T Sobeys, Loblaws, Metro etc have looked at the question and determined that Cobourg does not have the economic mass to support another grocery store. They have the resources and comparative data to do the economic analysis to determine if a location is economically viable. This is not specifically a Cobourg issue, it is a small town issue.

cornbread

Here we go again…more money to see why potential retailers don’t want expensive rents in old buildings and the high taxes that go with it.

Hey everyone…how come no news from the mayors office on the “no students” at the Cobourg West new school?

What’s happening on this front?

Dubious

His Worship only reports on good news.

Susie-Q

Yes, I too have been wondering why there has been nothing reported.

Queen Elizabeth

Consequently a number of you only post on what you deem to be negative.

Dave

Because quite frankly my dear, we are tired of hearing (pardon the expression) the same old “BS”.

Frenchy

“no students” at the Cobourg West new school

What did I miss? What’s this all about?