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Downtown businesses cash in on Sundown Concert series

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington downtown businesses looked to cash in on the Downtown Sundown Concert series crowd on Friday night.

A survey conducted by Downtown Business INC. in 2010 showed the economic impact of the Friday night concerts was almost a million dollars a summer.

With hundreds of people coming downtown this Friday to enjoy the scenery and of course the fantastic music, businesses are feeling the impact and concert goers are enjoying their night out.

“It’s like starting a party downtown for everyone to go to and then they can disperse and go to the bars if they want to,” Chris McKee said.

That is exactly what Hell’s Kitchen was hoping for. The restaurant sent one of its prompters to Front Street with the hopes of luring customers with the increased foot traffic.

“They had me come out at 6:00 p.m., a little bit before the concert series ends because that's definitely a good place that brings in a lot of people,” Hannah Fowler said.

For downtowners looking for something a bit sweeter, Kilwin’s was also seeing dollars signs from a line that extended out the door.

“The concert just makes us twice as busy,” Kilwin’s worker Camille Sykes exuded.

But not all of the downtown businesses were singing the same tune.

"I don't see where it has a lot of effect, a lot of our riders don't even know the concert is going on because they're from out of town,” Ron Williams, a horse and carriage driver of Springbrook Farms said.

Williams said he actually alerts most of his out-of-town riders to the fun that is happening steps away from where he is stationed.

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Who Pays For This??

Are these businesses financing the concerts, that are bringing them $1,000,000.00 a summer OR....... are the taxpayers (most of whom don't go downtown) footing the bill?

Wilmington Observer