VENTURA, Calif. – Downtown Ventura plans to keep streets closed so restaurants and businesses can be outdoor through at least January of next year, and there is talk it could even stay permanently.
‘Main Street Moves’ was born out of necessity due to the pandemic. As local businesses and restaurants were forced to move outdoors, the goal was to create a unique street environment with plenty of space for physical distancing.
“I am pleased to say that it has really worked well,” said Kevin Clerici, executive director for Downtown Ventura Partners. “It has helped out small businesses not only survive but some of them thrive during this unique time.”
Clerici says not only are small businesses making a financial comeback, but the community is loving the new vibe.
“The public response to Main Street Moves has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Clerici. “There is not a day that goes by that someone doesn’t tell me, 'make this permanent.' You know, 'make this a place that we can come visit all the time.'”
“I love it,” said Nancy Bundy, who is a Ventura County resident. “I think it's the best idea. I love that you can park, and I love that you can roam the streets, and have dinner and it's comfortable. It is one of the few towns that did things right away.”
‘Main Street Moves’ had its permit extended until January 7, 2022, but the Downtown Ventura Partners Organization is already looking at ways to keep it going long term.
“Between now and then we are going to embark on a unique effort to actually hire an architect to look at some designs on how we can possibly change Main Street permanently,” said Clerici. “We are really fortunate that the City is partnering with us to take a formal look at studying ways that we can possibly make changes.”
Downtown Ventura Partners plans to bring this idea to the City Council on May 10. In the meantime ‘Main Street Moves’ will stay exactly how you see it until next year.