Downtown Roanoke is home to many of Southwestern Virginia’s best holiday traditions. The Christmas Trees at the Hotel Roanoke, Fantasyland at the History Museum and of course, Dickens of a Christmas. But the holidays in Downtown are also about the importance of directly impacting the wellbeing of our community, by shopping at local businesses.
Downtown is highly concentrated with locally owned stores, restaurants, artists and market vendors, and by supporting these local merchants this season rather than exclusively at the mall you are significantly helping improve the local economy. How? Because 68 of every 100 dollars spent at local businesses stay in the community. That is 58% more than money spent at chains. By supporting local businesses you are also helping to preserve the unique character of Roanoke. Without our local businesses, Roanoke would just be another place with an Applebee’s and a Wal-mart.
Getting into Downtown to support those local businesses is easier than you think. Street parking in Downtown is free all day everyday, and there are over 600 on-street spaces available. Park Roanoke provides free daytime parking at most garages on weekends and the City is providing free evening parking Monday through Wednesday to boot. Overall there are more than 6,500 parking spaces throughout downtown, and rather than a hike through a sea of asphalt in a giant mall parking lot, you will be walking through the dynamic scenery that is Downtown during the holidays.
Downtown Roanoke, Inc. is also pleased to be sponsoring the expansion of the popular free StarLine Trolley service (connecting South Roanoke, the Market District and Jefferson Street Shopping) to the first two Saturdays of December this year. Once Downtown, trolleys will also be connecting some of the region’s best holiday attractions including the Hotel Roanoke, Center in the Square, unique gifts in the Downtown Arts District, and a stop in Downtown West.
Consider spending at least one Saturday in Downtown this year. Experience how different supporting the local economy can be, while enjoying a stress-free and unique experience in the heart of the Roanoke Valley.
Bring your family down to buy your wreath made from live greenery, or even your household Christmas Tree at the Historic Roanoke City Market. Make a trip with the kids off to see Santa in Fantasyland and then stroll through some of the regions best shopping around Market Square and on Jefferson Street. Ride the trolley to the Arts District and see Roanoke’s cutting edge artists in action. Visit Downtown’s world class restaurants and remember what local flair is. Take in a show at Kirk Avenue Music Hall, Studio Roanoke or the Jefferson Center. Build your own day and make it one your family will treasure for years.
Downtown Roanoke’s locally owned restaurants and shops are open for business and ready to make your holiday shopping experience a pleasure. Make your holiday shopping dollars count as more than just gifts this year; visit Downtown this holiday season.