Record number of new businesses open in downtown Rochester in 2010

The year 2010 saw 36 new businesses come to downtown Rochester, for a net gain of 26 new businesses, dropping the retail vacancy rate to a mere 3 percent, says Kristi Trevarrow, executive director of the Rochester Downtown Development Authority.

"We're pretty proud of that,"  Trevarrow says.

Recruitment efforts, incentives and other projects that make downtown more appealing, including bike racks used by downtown workers, are part of the DDA strategy to pump up downtown.

The new businesses will be witness to one of the city's most popular events, the Fire & Ice Fest, which runs this weekend and becomes a venue for another business-boosting plan of the DDA: the Sweet Deals discount card.

This is the first year that Fire & Ice is running three days, bringing visitors snow tubing hills, fireworks, and ice sculptures carved this year in the theme of toys and a light show, among dozens of other activities.

Trevarrow says downtown businesses report this as being a top sales weekend. The hope is to feel the warmth again come February when the Sweet Deals discount card will give users 15 percent off at some 25 downtown restaurants, salons and shops.

Source: Kristi Trevarrow, executive director, Rochester Downtown Development Authority
Writer: Kim North Shine
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