West End Business Association Monthly Meeting 10/10/2017
Present: Sara Curry, Bikram Yoga, Dan Umbro, Fishnet Media, Krystyna Dudka, Red Post Realty, Monique Shevlin, Signature Escrow and Title, Jeanne Russell, Portsmouth Center for Yoga and the Arts, Campbell Lozuaway-McComsey, STREET, Jesse Ware, Futuro Construction, Michelle Corgan, MCCS, Jonathan Blakeslee, White Heron Tea, Cathy Dutch, Greengard Center for Autism, Jay Krecklow, Ohana Kitchen, Janet MacCausland, Vizuluxe Marketing and Design, Doug Roberts, City Council Candidate and co-founder of PS21, Jen Goodson, Chinburg Builders, Bill Buckley, Gateway Taiji and Yoga.
Westival Wrap Up: Location was amazing. People loved that it was closed and safe, with plenty of room for people to walk and socialize, while still having lots of parking. We don’t have an official count, but it looked like our best turn out ever. Saturday was a good day and brought out lots of families. People who came mentioned that they hadn’t seen advertising about it, but neighbors told them to come. It’s starting to become an expected event.
Greengard noticed that they would have preferred to be in the mix with everyone else, as opposed to up on the side walk. Designated spaces would have been better than what we had (a map with food/vendors, as opposed to each individual spot).
For next year, let’s remember that power is going to be an issue. If we use the Malthouse Exchange again, there is no exterior power anywhere. We could have used better signage for the t-shirt/water station. Let’s do a big sign next year so people know to come there to get it.
Signage around town got up a little late. More posters earlier. Let’s get signage up on the road.
Visitors mentioned there wasn’t a ton to do (other than drink) for people without kids. Do we want to invite local artists to sell their stuff next year?
As for planning, we should back up the prep another month to June so we can get together a map and more promo of who will be there to support local businesses better.
The generator for the bouncy house was really loud and hard to hear the music. We want to be sure to secure an electric (as opposed to a generator) source for it next time. Also, locating the drum circle/Music Together a little farther away.
The SSC’s Ninja Warrior course was a big hit along with the free tea from White Heron. We made twice as much money on water and tees this year as last year and almost have enough to cover the 2018 insurance rider if we don’t have a sponsor. The new tee designed looked great and I’ve seen shirts around town since on people not connected to this group.
Deidra Rasmussen was one of our biggest assets. She worked her tail off to pull together dozens of volunteers and leap through piles of red tape to make this happen. We all owe her a huge thank you for all of her work and dedication to this community and for bringing us all together.
In addition, I have to thank Dan Umbro and Fishnet Media for all of their work in coordinating the event and developing all of our promo material.
The paper was there and took pictures. It would be great to have a West End photographer there next year so we have images of our own to use in promos, etc.
For next year: what about more festival/carnival ideas? Dunk a City Councilor. Touch a Fire Truck. etc. We also need to look into how this event can generate more revenue. We want it to be a free community event, but we also need to think about sustainability of the event and how we pay for all of the costs and fees of putting it together.
City Council Candidate Questionnaire: Our group has been interested in interviewing candidates for City Council. PS21 co-founder and candidate for City Council Doug Roberts joined us today to get a better sense of what people want from their candidates. Make sure you get involved and vote!
Chinburg Project Update: The Brew House building is set to open for residents in February 2018. There are only 20 units left. Most that have been taken up are the smaller, more affordable units. Thirty were filled after the first day of tours. The units are dog-friendly, so a lot of the residents are dog owners and the age range is 24-75. There are several large townhouse-style units left.
The second site, the Fermentation Building, hosts six commercial units including Cornerstone Restaurant. The goal for opening is March 2018.
Portsmouth Listens Follow Up: I met with Jim Noucas from Noucas Law to share the West End Business Association’s perspective for the upcoming Portsmouth Listen’s dialogues. That information will be presented to each meeting group.