Elkhart's Art Walk brings big revenue to neighboring businesses
Thanks to Elkhart’s Art Walk local businesses are seeing an increase in revenue. Since this event started in 2011, it’s tripled in size attracting more people to the downtown area and ramping up the economy.
The manager of The Black Crow, Jessica Risner, says they see a 50 per cent increase in sales on Art Walk Wednesdays.
And not only that, but they also get a lot of new comers too!
“Some people just out and about for the art walk they’re not really realizing that we’re here so they come in, we’ve never seen them before because they’re not from the area and are here for festivities,” says Risner.
The Black Crow even stays open late. “Normally we are open 9:30 to 6. We do stay open until 8 on Art Walk,” says Risner.
Art isn’t the only market benefiting from this event. Danny Reynolds, owner of Stephenson’s says this art walk benefits his business as well, all people have to do is peek into his store.
“People stop and look at those and sometimes meander in to see what we have to offer,” he says. “Certainly we know that whenever we can get people downtown everyone is going to benefit from it.”
Director of Arts on Main and producer of the Art Walk Steven Gruber explains that the art walk is not only beneficial for its economic impact.
“There’s a lot of pride that people are buying something that was made here in Elkhart County,” says Gruber.
It’s affordable too, “Especially younger people who are living downtown they want original art, but they can’t pay thousands of dollars.”
And it’s also a way to brighten up the downtown area, “There are a lot of empty store fronts on Main Street and a way to brighten up those windows and meet local artists and enjoy downtown Elkhart.”
Gruber says the Art Walk started in 2011 and was only two blocks. Now it’s six blocks of art and economic impact.
“Businesses do see a bump and that’s why they like to be part of the art walk,” says Gruber.