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Here's a comment submitted by the Wests, owners of several Market Square businesses:
The West Family strongly believes Rossini Fest ON historic Gay Street and Market Square is GREAT for Downtown and Downtown’s many locally-owned businesses (be they retail, restaurant or bar). (In fact, Rossini Fest is our retail shop Earth to Old City's BEST day of the year, and one of the best events of each year for Preservation Pub and Oodles Uncorked restaurant.)
It’d be hard for anyone to argue that 60,000 extra people walking by one’s front door in one afternoon is harmful for that day’s business.
We’ve heard of Rossini’s rumored move from Gay Street to Henley Street (a move from a street of many retail businesses to a street with almost none), but that rumor doesn’t make sense to us.
Further, there is the issue of hosting Rossini Fest on a highway when Henley Street Bridge reopens...
Perhaps, the powers-that-be are talking about moving Rossini Fest to World’s Fair Park, but again the logic of having an event where only the promoter can benefit and none of dozens of other local Downtown businesses seems absurd to us.
What is the point of paying lip service to revitalizing Downtown while stripping away the elements that make that Knoxville Renaissance possible???
Peace and Freedom,Bernadette & Scott
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