As the ball dropped on New Year's Eve, cars crowded the streets of downtown Wilmington while people crowded into the bars and restaurants. Thursday, was quiet but signs of the previous night still remained. At Pravda, the scene was much quieter as the final cleanup from the holiday bash continued. For owner Dustin Cook, it was the first New Year's as a downtown business owner. “It was just crazy. I mean it was very busy; a lot of places downtown I think were very busy. We were definitely cranking,” he said. It was Patricia Motiy's seventh New Year's as a downtown business owner. She was worried a slow economy might keep some people from following through on their reservations, but she was pleasantly surprised. “We confirmed everyone and 95% came. And the one's who didn't come called us this year so that was really nice,” Motiy said Local business owners said they hope the Wednesday night’s crowds are a sign of good things to come in 2009; not just for their establishments, but for all of downtown Wilmington. “The first three months: January, February, March will be the toughest months. If the weather is nice, than we'll have a nice crowd over the weekends. But if it's chilly, than everyone will stay wherever they are,” added Motiy. Cook said either way he's happy to have the experience under his belt, and is optimistic for what the New Year will bring the area and his business. “I'm looking forward to basically people coming and dancing more here, and building more the night club kind of vibe we've got going on.” Both owners said the crowds were a little messy, but everyone was in good spirits. They said several customers mentioned their faith in a turn around in the economy, and high hopes for the new president.
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