The talk of building something to connect the people on the beach to businesses in downtown Parksville makes me think we are going about it from the wrong direction.
Parksville does not operate as a tourist-friendly town. The stores close at 5:30-6 p.m. and the restaurants close by 8:30-9 p.m. If people go to a beach resort town, they’re going to the beach. But when the sun goes down, that’s the time to catch their eye.
The only problem is: where are the restaurants? Where are the art galleries? Where are the fun spots? Where are the “early-bird” dinners with live music? Where are the Happy Hours with live music? Where are the open market craft venders? Why are all the stores closed down at night?
Where are the cool coffee shops and the ice cream parlors along with the cheap T-shirt and beach clothing? This is the heart of a resort town.
Zoning is the key. Put complimentary stores/restaurants/art galleries all in one area. Place medical and government offices off the main streets. They are not going to lose business. Take a look at our city. Where would you stay? Where are the nice restaurants? What would you do with the kids on a rainy day? Nice little shops over there but no parking.
Think about it. If we had interesting storefronts with music playing and craft vendors and bistros that served you outside and soft music playing as you walked past every restaurant and stores open until 9:30 p.m., then you could entice the tourists out of their condos.
We don’t have to build anything except a new game plan.