The Payson Main Street Merchants Guild would like to clarify points in the story on the car show that ran in the paper on April 18 and I quote, “Last year, organizers lined the cars up along Main Street, where the merchants hoped the shiny icons of Detroit would generate sales and street traffic. But the merchants on Main Street balked at repeating the event curbside this year.” Both of the statements quoted are not true. And are not reflections of why the Rim Country Classic Auto Club chose to move its annual car show from Main Street.
In past years, Main Street has closed one day for the car show, (not two days as been reported several times.) The street closure is not an issue for our members, we welcome it.
It was also reported that Main Street merchants do not want the show to be held on Main Street. Nothing could be further from the truth. We encourage and heartily welcome the exposure of our businesses to the approximately 5,000 people attending the car show.
It should be pointed out, however, that the sales of merchants along Main Street the day of the show always take a major dip.
Most people who use the services offered by the Main Street merchants cannot get to us to make purchases the day of the show.
There is not a direct economic justification for the show to be on Main Street. So the first statement is false, we do not generate or expect to generate sales from the show being on the street.
There is, however, tremendous public pride and community awareness, even if very few attendees do come inside each business and spend money on the day of the car show, each person does see that the business exists and may become a customer in the future.
The second (statement) is also false. The Main Street merchants did not balk at having the car show on Main Street, we even encouraged it to remain! The “balking,” if there was any, was from members of the Rim Country Classic Auto Club, and was, as I have been told, focused on the lack of volunteer help within the club to make the event happen on such a scale, or that there was not enough “booth space” on Main Street.
We were and are willing to work with the car club to provide sufficient volunteers and space to meet their needs.
With this letter, The Payson Main Street Merchants Guild is going on record with an official invitation to the Rim Country Classic Auto Club to bring the car show back to Main Street in 2010, where it has been successful for show entrants, spectators and most certainly welcomed by the merchants. And we will work with the club to provide the necessary arrangements to meet their needs for a successful show.
Rev. Charles Proudfoot, Chairman
The Payson Main Street Merchants Guild
Editor’s Note: Several merchants complained to the town that last year’s event blocked traffic and didn’t bring in enough customers. That was one reason the town worked with car show organizers to move the event to Green Valley Park.