Chamber looking to entice visitors to CBD

THE tree jumpers have been dismantled and the jazz music no longer rings out through the main street, but calls from businesses in the CBD in the wake of Jumpers and Jazz last month has led the Warwick Chamber of Commerce to look at the possibility of creating a second festival for the Rose City.

Warwick Chamber of Commerce president David Littleproud said the sub-committee was formed after the Jumpers and Jazz in July Festival left many business owners very happy this year.

"I have had a lot of business owners, especially the newer ones, commenting on the amount of people that were in town for Jumpers and Jazz and how good it was for their business," he said.

"The chamber is starting to look at ways to entice people into Warwick during other parts of the year."

Mr Littleproud said the idea of a summer festival, or quarterly festivals, had been discussed.

"We do need to be mindful of the large amount of work that goes into organising Jumpers and Jazz," he said.

"It will be hard to pull that off twice a year."

Classic Dimensions owner Robyn Fraser, who opened her doors for 10 days straight during Jumpers and Jazz this year, said she loved the idea of another festival.

"It was a very successful 10 days of trading," she said.

"This year we found we had a lot of repeat customers."

"Jumpers and Jazz is a winter attraction and I think that we really could do with a summer one," Mrs Fraser said.

"If there was some type of summer festival we would be able to capitalise on the longer daylight hours and the beautiful weather.

"It would be excellent."

Mrs Fraser said it could not just be any festival though.

"The festival would need to be just as quirky as Jumpers and Jazz, maybe including some open-air type events," she said.

While the last few weekends have been busy in Warwick, with events at both the polocrosse and racing facilities at Morgan Park, Mr Littleproud said these events did not always draw people to the businesses in the CBD.

"We are working closely with the council and community groups, such as the polocrosse, to come up with ways to get people to take a look at the CBD - whether it is free transport to and from the CBD, gift vouchers or free coffees," he said.

"We have the most picturesque CBD in south-east Queensland and we need to make sure people know how to get to it."

With the Warwick Rodeo just around the corner, in the last weekend in October, Mr Littleproud said the sub-committee and the Chamber of Commerce was working towards increasing signage to the city centre.

"It is definitely hard to attract the people that are just here for the rodeo to the CBD but we are working with the council to try and get better signage and making sure that people know where it is and how to get to the CBD."

Mr Littleproud said one thing that did act as a drawcard during rodeo were businesses that dressed up their shopfronts.

"It is something that is starting to take off, with a lot of businesses making the effort to be part of the event," he said.

"People will come into the CBD to see what people have done to their shopfronts.

"It was great to see so many businesses getting into the spirit of Jumpers and Jazz last month."

 Let us know what you think. Does Warwick need another festival? When should it be held? Head to our Facebook page, website or call us on 4660 1315.

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