By Randy Bell
People come to Clinton’s historic downtown area to dine, shop and have fun. Efforts are underway to make the Olde Towne District a true destination by giving visitors the best guest experience possible and making sure they don’t miss anything – and there’s more to experience in Olde Towne now than there has been in years.
Main Street Clinton Director Tara Lytal points out that 34 of 36 available locations in the district are occupied, including all of the ones along Jefferson Street. She says the ninety-five per cent occupancy rate is the highest since the early 2010s.
Main Street recently held a training workshop aimed not only at sharpening customer service skills but also building camaraderie among Olde Towne restaurateurs and retailers.
“We’re looking at ways for them to partner on events together, for them to cross promote, to bring people downtown and, when they’re here, send them to other places,” says Lytal.
To that end, “you are here” posters have been developed for each business to direct visitors to other parts of Olde Towne, and there are plans for a Retail/Restaurant Walk to encourage business owners to learn more about their neighbors in the storefronts along the brick streets.
“We’ll probably do it [prior to opening hours], and let everybody just walk in and have ten minutes at each other’s business, so they can see each other’s faces,” Lytal says.
Another Main Street project that could impact Olde Towne and beyond is the newly-formed Public Art Committee.
“The goal is to eventually take it citywide, but, right now, we’re looking at [going] from the heart of the community and expanding out,” said Lytal. “We’re looking for more opportunities to do more murals [and] to incorporate some sculptural elements. One of them is going to be some type of kinetic sculpture that we will probably put at Lion’s Club Park. And they’re also looking at maybe a mosaic mural.”