I cannot help but notice the renewal and growth going on around Commercial St in anticipation of the Conference Centre. New stores and restaurants all over the place.
From what I have been able to gather, they have sold out all available space for conferences for 2008. They also have, from my source, 70+ open files (ongoing negotiations) for 2009+. What this means is that they will be sold out. The Saturday Vancouver Sun featured an article on the growth of conferences, particularly in Canada. Many that used to go south, are staying here in spite of the dollar. This is mostly attributable to the increasing hassle of getting across the border.
So we have a sold out Conference Centre, a new hotel going in downtown and many condos going in all over downtown.
Perhaps downtown is becoming the place to go again.
I love the downtown and look forward to expanding into its limitless potential. I hope that the quaint charm of it will be maintained and that a Starbuck's won't be needed =)
You can bet that Starbucks is snooping around. Its up to the people whether or not we are inundated with franchises downtown
Boo, down with the starbucks...there is already too many.
I guess this is an attitude that I dont understand. If you dont like Starbucks, dont go. If enough people dont go, there will be one less Starbucks in the world. Support your local coffee company by spending money there. This is true of WalMart and all the other paces that people love to complain about. Many of those same people are in WalMart every week 'saving' money.
If someone wants to invest in a new Starbucks (or Tim Hortons) and are willing to do the market research, invest the money and work it til it pays off, more power to them.
I don't agree with your blanket statement about the people who complain about franchises are the same ones shopping in them. My speaking up wasn't some moral high road, just a desire to see the downtown keep it's personality and not become as inundated with franchise and big box the way the north end has. Often when an area becomes more economically viable one sees that type of business show up the expense of others. Yes, it is up to the consumer where they go, but I hope that we are not even given the choice =)
I hope the downtown remains its unique self !
I also hope a new focus on the downtown will see a revitalization of some of the surrounding business area - there are a lot of empty businesses there at the moment.