Chip Boyles, Charlottesville, Virginia’s newly-minted city manager, is an A++ dude who has already made a positive impact on our fair city. Today, Mr. Boyles is exploring the positive potential of an “outdoor refreshment area” (aka biergarten) on The Charlottesville DowntownMall (see 3.1 in the infographic above).
Mr. Boyles, Mayor Nikuyah Walker, Councilors Lloyd Snook, Sena Floyd, Heather Danforth Hill and Michael Payne and council candidates Brian Pinkston, Juandiego Wade and Yas Ariel J. Washington, please consider this strategy as soon as possible.
Please convert the entire Downtown Mall into an outdoor biergarten.
When converting The Downtown Mall into an outdoor biergarten, the City of Charlottesville should setup a “check-in” point at the heart of The Mall (Central Place across from Ivan Rekosh’s Zocalo) where it will sell wristbands. This “check-in” point will be staffed by one or two employees making at least $15 per hour. This “check-in” point would serve as a point-of-sale.
We, as consumers, will pay the City of Charlottesville $2-$5 for a wristband. With the wristband on, we will head to local restaurants on The Mall and purchase local craft cocktails, local wine, local cider and local beer. Our favorite restaurants will pour these local spirits into a to-go plastic cup. We will then walk up and down The Mall from the Sprint Pavilion to the CODE Building with this to-go cup in our hand while supporting our beloved restaurants, music venues and retail outlets.
This strategy will yield the following:
1. This strategy will encourage Charlottesvillians & Central Virginians to return to The Downtown Mall to EAT, DRINK, SHOP, LAUGH and LOVE.
2. This strategy will jumpstart our local economy.
3. This strategy will slowly help return the hundreds of jobs we lost in Downtown CVille because of Covid-19.
4. This strategy will help locally-owned restaurants climb out of what appears to be insurmountable debt.
5. This strategy will trickle over and positively impact the locally-owned shops, music venues, hotels, transportation services and other businesses in the City of Charlottesville.
6. This strategy will help create incremental tax revenue for the City of Charlottesville. The $2-$5 per wristband generates upfront revenue. This is Day 1 revenue from an incremental revenue source. The outdoor biergarten also generates incremental backend revenue through the meals tax for the City of Charlottesville as well.
7. This strategy will inspire/create incremental tax revenue that can be allocated directly to teachers, firemen, police officers, EMTs, who are otherwise getting very little raises in 2021 from the City of Charlottesville.
8. This strategy will help fund roads, the reconfiguration of schools and other citywide infrastructure initiatives.
9. This strategy will help the City close the gap with Albemarle County, which has a tremendous advantage from a tax revenue standpoint because it has significantly more businesses at its disposal to generate said tax revenue.
10. This strategy will help the City fill the nearly 20% vacancy rate on The Downtown Mall. Please check the comments section of this post for the “Charlottesville Empty Storefront Index” across The Downtown Mall. The amount of empty storefronts are staggering.
In conclusion, I respectfully ask Mr. Boyles, Charlottesville City Hall, Charlottesville City Council and Charlottesville candidates to act now. Action is needed. We must be innovative as a community to overcome a pandemic of generational proportions. Thank you, kindly. ~ I Love CVille
Jerry Miller, CEO & Publisher
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