Strand of suc­cess Busi­ness own­ers call for Ephe­mera to be an an­nual event

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - LUCY SMITH lucy. smith@ news. com. au

NORTH Ward busi­ness own­ers have had an in­flux of cus­tomers dur­ing Strand Ephe­mera and called for the buzz to con­tinue with more fre­quent events in the area.

The pub­lic art fes­ti­val is held ev­ery two years but Raw En­ergy cafe owner Sunny Chandel said it would boost busi­ness if Ephe­mera be­came an an­nual fea­ture.

Mr Chandel opened the Strand cafe last Septem­ber.

“It’s a com­mu­nity thing, it brings so many peo­ple to- gether. I’ve never seen so many peo­ple come to the Strand, it changes the whole vibe,” he said.

Mr Chandel said the cafe had seen an in­flux of out- oftown vis­i­tors, par­tic­u­larly from Mel­bourne, who had taken ad­van­tage of cheap flights from Tig­erair.

“I think it would be a shame if this doesn’t hap­pen ev­ery year, and I would rec­om­mend that we do this ev­ery year,” he said.

Mr Chandel said Townsville City Coun­cil could bring more vis­i­tors by in­tro­duc­ing events to the area, for ex­am­ple by mov­ing the Cot­ters Mar­kets to the Strand.

Mayor Jenny Hill said she had not con­sid­ered mak­ing Strand Ephe­mera an an­nual event, but would take the sug­ges­tion on board.

“When we were elected we said that we wanted to have more events, and we’ll look at what other events we do through the year that we might be able to put on The Strand,” she said.

Cr Hill said it was a prob­lem that many city events were at the same time of year – the Aus­tralian Cham­ber of Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, Townsville Run­ning Fes­ti­val and Strand Ephe­mera.

“Be­cause of tra­di­tion­ally good weather at this time of year, we tend to see a lot of the events fall in the space of a month or two months,” Cr Hill said. “It would be nice if we could spread them out a bit bet­ter.”

Ge­latis­simo owner Astrid Orne- Glie­mann echoed Mr Chandel’s en­thu­si­asm, say­ing she would love to see an an­nual Strand Ephe­mera.

“We’ve in­creased sales, com­pared to last year, prob- ably up to 15 to 20 per cent, it’s been very good,” she said.

“There’s def­i­nitely more peo­ple from out of town.”

Townsville Cham­ber of Com­merce pres­i­dent Troy Popham said Strand Ephe­mera had cre­ated a buzz for lo­cal busi­nesses.

“Peo­ple who have gone down to see the art­work … have been eat­ing and tak­ing ad­van­tage of the cafes and restau­rants along The Strand,” he said. “There’s masses of peo­ple, it’s been hugely pop­u­lar.”

Mr Popham said it would be great to trial Strand Ephe­mera as an an­nual event, but that would de­pend on fes­ti­val lo­gis­tics.

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