Delray Beach considers quality over quantity for events and festivals

Should events move off Ave. to Old School Square?

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - The Trouser Shop in Delray Beach has been dazzling customers with its funky prints for decades.

Owner Bruce Gimmy says the coveted spot on Atlantic Avenue is crucial for business. But every time an event or festival shuts down the street, he loses 80% of his weekend business.

"Closing Atlantic Avenue just doesn't work, it's counter productive," said Gimmy.

In less than one year the avenue has been closed 50 times for various events, including the Delray Affair and Savor on the Avenue. June is the only month with no scheduled events downtown. City commissioners got an earful over it.

"We've received a lot of complaints from merchants and restaurant owners that their customers have trouble parking and getting to these establishments," said City Commissioner Adam Frankel.

Frankel says the commission is considering changes. Gimmy doesn't want the events stopped, just moved.

"I'd rather see the Delray Affair on 4th avenue or at Old School Square, and leave Atlantic open," said Gimmy.

"These events should occur in the off-season to draw people that aren't here, as oppose to in season when you don't need the draw," said Frankel.

Commissions won't make a blanket decision, they will approach each event one at a time and decide which event warrants closing the avenue.

Gimmy says a compromise will save businesses from competing with road closures.

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