Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Daniel Valone: Stop Harassing Musicians, Artists After 450th Lesson

St. Augustine Record
Posted: September 16, 2015 - 12:08am
Will the city learn a lesson from the 450th ‘miracle’? Editor: Tens of thousands of people roamed through the small city. Local merchants, T-shirt shops and restaurateurs did land-office business. They all remarked about how happy customers stayed longer and spent more money due to the festive atmosphere of the re-enactors and musicians performing at venues all around the town. Not one businessperson complained or expressed concerns that these performers created a situation that impeded the police or medical emergency personnel from performing their duties.
But, when the anniversary activities come to an end, these same happy merchants, businesspeople and restaurateurs will go back to being against street performers and artists operating in the city.
They will continue their claims that such people cause congestion that imperils the health and safety of those downtown and take away money that should go to brick and mortar merchants.
The 450th celebrations were a miracle.
But a true miracle would be for the city to learn from them. They will forget that happy, entertained tourists spend more and stay longer, generating more income for both businesses and the city.

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