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Is all business good business for downtown Wilmington?


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -– With the recent addition of some new restaurants, business is booming in downtown Wilmington, but one business owner says not all business is good business.

"Man, downtown has been really hot," said Hunter Ford, owner of Momentum Surf and Skate on Front Street. "I've had the best year that we've ever had here. I had the best weekend I've ever had over Cucalorus weekend just a couple of weeks ago. So I've been impressed with how fast the rebound has happened downtown."

But recently Ford says he noticed a disturbing trend that worries him that organizations set up to bring business downtown are resting on their laurels.

"A couple of those organizations have been counterproductive," Ford said. "They have brought businesses that are seasonal downtown that don't reflect where we're trying to go with our downtown."

Ford says seasonal businesses like Rita's take away from the appeal of downtown by closing for months at a time and giving off the appearance that downtown is a dying area.

"Although I really like Rita's (Italian Ice) and frequent the place a lot I would like to see more places that are committed to our growth and being a responsible party downtown and seeing this through because we are not seasonal," Ford said.

John Hinnant of Wilmington Downtown Inc. has contacted the owner of Rita's to remove the sign due to these concerns.

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