Dog show, haunted house coming to park
By Angelica BlenichThe following are brief reports of items discussed at the Feb. 11 annual general meeting of the Haliburton Business Improvement Area.
“In 2013 in September, I think what we saw on the main street in Haliburton was the most beautiful main street in the history of Haliburton,” he said.
The aesthetic improvements, which included burying hydro lines and repaving the downtown area, along with the BIA’s decorations resulted in a vibrant Colourfest and overall improvement of downtown.
This year the BIA invested in a trailer to help with the flower watering on the main street, which worked out well and will save some money, said Schell.
Plans for the coming year include putting additional flowers and benches on Maple Avenue and around Head Lake Park to emphasize the aesthetics of the expanded BIA.
Reeve Murray Fearrey commended the BIA on another strong year and encouraged the executive to continue to keep up the good work.
“Stay with it because you do play an important role to business,” he said.
Fearrey pointed to the streetscape and Dysart arena renovation as positive improvements for the area and thanked the BIA businesses for their patience during those interruptions.
Going forward he said the municipality would like to work with the BIA on their website and encouraged the organization to take advantage of events such as the Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships through cross-promotion opportunities.
This fall the drive into Haliburton Village will be improved, as the municipality and the county plan to reconstruct County Road 21 from Peninsula Drive to County Road 1 and then further on Highland Street up to Cedar Avenue.
The reeve also announced that the famous Terror on Wonderland Road, a Halloween-themed event that benefits local food banks, will be expanded and moved into Head Lake Park this year.
The hope is the event will include a zombie attack element and will bring people into town, said Fearrey.
He also spoke about a specialized dog show coming to Head Lake Park this August that could draw thousands of people.
“It’s called Airdogs … it brings 10,000 people to London,” he said.
The hope was to see more large-scale events in the village, which would bring economic spin-off to the BIA and local merchants, he said.
Fearrey also encouraged business owners to put up signs or messages in their store windows supporting Matt Duchene in his first Olympic games.
“Let’s show him love,” he said.
Midnight Madness is a street party in July when businesses stay open late and offer special promotions.
The BIA is looking at becoming the main organizer of the event, while getting support from the Haliburton Echo, which used to run the event.
“That’s a very successful event … it seems to make more sense that the businesses that are enjoying the benefits of it be in charge of it,” said Schell.
The chairman didn’t anticipate many changes being made to the actual event.
While the BIA has revamped its website, which now allows members to edit it themselves, there is still room for improvement, said Schell.
“I think it will evolve over time and be a good website,” he said.
The website changes have led to more cost savings for the organization.
Going forward, executive members hope to do more with social media, with a recently launched Facebook page.
Some BIA members encouraged the use of social media, both through individual businesses and by setting-up an account for the organization.
Newly elected executive member Chris O’Mara suggested some ways Twitter, Facebook and FourSquare could be incorporated into marketing downtown businesses, specifically through offering weekly deals and encouraging customers to check in on social media sites.
Andy Glecoff thought the committee could do more in terms of promotions, particularly during shoulder seasons, but said the difficulty lied in coming up with “fresh ideas.”
Fearrey suggested the BIA look more at cross-promoting with the farmers’ market, which will return to Head Lake Park this summer.
Ideas for the promotions committee are always welcome and can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Executive members Katie Hammerschmidt and Ray Langdon decided to step down this year.
Langdon was thanked for his many years of service as a director, which spans more than a decade.
One new director was nominated and accepted onto the executive, Prettypaws pet boutique and spa owner Chris O’Mara.
There are now eight members on the executive, including re-elected members Schell, Nelly Ashworth, Renzo Rosati, Andy Glecoff, Jenn Little, Brad Park and municipal representative Andrea Roberts.
The BIA’s administrator is Gail Stelter.
By Angelica Blenich
Streetscape complete, beautification continues
With the Highland Street streetscape wrapping up in the fall of 2013, BIA chairman Luke Schell said the main street has never looked better.
More events, street improvements
BIA to take lead in
Focus on cross-promotions, social media