Downtown businesses open for holiday

Published 12:46 am Tuesday, July 3, 2007

NATCHEZ — In an effort to promote a more tourism based economy in Natchez 16 downtown businesses will be open on the Fourth of July.

“We need to show that Natchez’s economy is based on tourism,” Natchez Downtown Development Association Board President Bill Furlow said. “When people go on vacation they want to be able to shop and eat-out on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.”

The NDDA is also offering a chance for anyone who visits the open businesses on the Fourth of July to win $150 in gas.

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“All people have to do to win the $150 in gas is register when they go to one of the businesses while they are open on the Fourth” Furlow said.

The free gas will be awarded by the NDDA and not the businesses themselves. The hours that each business will be open on the Fourth will vary because each of the businesses attract different patrons for different reasons.

South Union Interiors, Natchez Coffee Company, Bowie’s Tavern, Turning Pages, Breaud’s, The Pampered Sole, Sun Moon Stars, One of a Kind, Vaughn’s Bakery, Planet Thailand, Cover to Cover, Andrew’s, Doc Big Loves, Market Place Café, Natchez Needle Art and Bobby J’s Lounge and Different Accents will be open.

“I think it (being open) will turn out well because it’s not like the holiday is on a weekend this year, it’s in the middle of the week so store will be open the day before and after the Fourth,” Mary Lees Wilson, owner of One of a Kind said. “We are going to try and make the best of it and going to be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.”

Although all the stores and bars downtown won’t be open the NDDA still wants to involve everyone.

“We want to intrigue people to come downtown and shop and eat lunch,” Furlow said. “This isn’t just for tourism its also for people from town.”

With so much revitalizing and new construction going on in Natchez the new NDDA board has decided to involve more of the town and attract more tourism.

“Natchez is a tourist town and we need to adopt the economic style that will best benefit the town,” Furlow said.

NDDA encourages everyone to come out for the town’s festivities, spend some time shopping and have lunch to support the businesses that agreed to open.

“The only way this is going to happen next year and continue to work is if people come out and go to the businesses, because it wouldn’t have asked them to stay open they wouldn’t have,” Furlow said.

Although it might not be desirable to work on a holiday there are some in town who think it is necessary

“I think it is important to stay open on holidays if you own a business in a tourist town,” Mary Emrick, owner of Turning Pages, said.

“On Sunday we had some tourist come in and tell us they had money to throw away and no where to do it.”