Fourth Avenue business owners looking to capitalize during Winter Street Fair
Artwork from vendors from across the country will be displayed at this weekend's Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair, but local businesses are also hoping for a big boost during the busy weekend.Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Justin Schecker
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Artwork from vendors from across the country will be displayed at this weekend's Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair, but local businesses are also hoping to capitalize during the busy weekend.
With modern street car construction over, Fourth Avenue business owners tell 9 On Your Side the hope this weekend will be the turning point to get business back to where it was before the construction.
Tony Vaccaro owns three businesses on Fourth Avenue, including Brooklyn Pizza, which he opened in 1996.
"This is probably the most important street fair I've ever experienced given the construction, given the fact we need to educate people that Fourth Avenue is open, construction is over," Vaccaro told 9 On Your Side.
Vaccaro's employees at Sky Bar kept brewing cups of joe during the months of construction -- but like many owners, he said the decline in business was noticeable.
"There's no compensation from the city," said Justin Cosgrove, owner of the Sea of Green garden store. "I'm still paying taxes even though they cut off all of my customer base, so I wasn't happy about it."
"People were deterred very easily," Vaccaro added, "they saw a road closed sign, they didn't want to go around, so I'm assuming they went to other areas of Tucson for their needs."
With thousands of people from different areas of Southern Arizona coming to Fourth Avenue for the street fair, owners said they would like new customers to discover their stores.
"This will be clutch -- we have a lot of new marketing stuff going on," Cosgrove said, "so this is going to be our best opportunity for cheap advertisement."
The Winter Street Fair runs from Friday, Dec. 7 until Sunday, Dec. 9. Vendors will have their booths open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.