The plan included sales at individual businesses and an array of activities to get customers involved and into as many local stores as possible. According to the consensus at Thursdays meeting, the event will last through Saturday, June 16.
There needs to be a single event, synergy and excitement around a specific weekend, said Tommy Waldroup, vice president of operations for ACE Hardware, which has a store located on North Mt. Juliet Road.
Waldroup encouraged the event to have a final weekend celebration that would be a culmination of other, smaller activities through the two weeks leading up to the weekend of June 15-16.
The business leaders agreed to plan a Bingo game that would have customers use a printed Bingo card with 24 businesses, one in each square, where they would go around and have their card stamped after visiting each store and taking advantage of specific sales.
We would like to have a single event or a part of an event that would tie all of us in together, Waldroup said.
He proposed drawings for prizes based on the Bingo game and holding a grand prize drawing from individuals that visited all the stores on their Bingo card. Ace is expected to donate a $1,200 gas grill to the prize pool and individuals who visit all 24 stores can be entered to win an overall prize package with items from all 24 businesses.
Hinesley said they hope to publish the Bingo cards in all local newspapers at least by June 6.
To draw in more customers during the week, Hinesley proposed getting local civic clubs involved to hold events along with businesses on North Mt. Juliet Road. He said they should hold activities and games for all ages to encourage parents to bring their children as well.
Lester Sears, manager of Shiloh Music Center, suggested that stores hold sales or special deals during the two weeks to keep customers interested in actually shopping in the stores they may visit while participating in the Bingo game.
Sears said in his store he would often give customers an offer of a free additional item in exchange for the store paying for the customers sales taxes.
We cant say they wont pay sales taxes because of government restrictions, but we can tell them we as a business can take care of it, Sears said.
The idea was to draw on the already successful Tax Free Weekend each year in August when customers do not have to pay sales taxes on a wide range of items. The business owners all noted they plan to have sales and special offerings all month to bring people back to their businesses, but said they should have an overall theme for the event.
The group agreed that getting customers to rediscover North Mt. Juliet not only highlighted the finished construction, but also businesses that were affected by the three-year project. Many pointed out that businesses located along North Mt. Juliet Road were not the only ones affected and that others along Highway 70 were also impacted by the construction.
Hinesley said beginning the event on Monday, June 4, when TDOT holds the ribbon cutting, would allow businesses and the event to gain more exposure due to the publicity surrounding the ceremony.
That gives you regional coverage because the television stations will be there, Hinesley said.
While the plans are not final yet, the businesses and Chamber expected to set up a committee to lead the charge on organizing the celebration coming next month.
Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.