Businesses not on board with bringing more parades downtown

Businesses not on board with bringing more parades downtown
(Source: KSLA archives)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Representatives from downtown businesses say they are not on board with the idea of bringing more Mardi Gras parades to downtown Shreveport.

This follows a report KSLA News 12 did on if the routes should be changed.

"They are a lot of fun. Our staff loves to go on the balcony and watch them. They're great fun but as far as our business is concerned, our business is pretty much dead," said Meghan Hochstetler the executive director of the Robinson Film Center.

Hochstetler says while downtown only sees a few events, the ones they do see, often hurt their bottom line.

"The people that would be coming to see our movies, our audience generally does not fight the traffic and the street closures and the crowd to get here on parade days so we pretty much have to write those off as days where we're not going to get any business, " Hochstetler said.

For many of the businesses, losing a Saturday means losing their busiest shopping day of the week.

"Most people who are going to an event or to a parade, they're going specifically for that event or for that parade. They're not going to drink a cup of coffee," said Downtown Development Director Liz Swaine.

Swaine says they would hate to lose the parades they already have. But says anyone thinking of moving more parades outside of their neighborhoods and into downtown should think again.

"When downtown gets shut down for any type of parade or event there are unintended consequences and we just want to make sure that people know about that," Swaine said.

The business representatives are not speaking out about the current parades that roll through downtown, just about the idea of bringing any more parades to the downtown area.

"Now I understand if you want to move it out of the neighborhoods, but in downtown, it has to be feasible to not have it on a main street where businesses are. You can have it downtown but like connect it to where Clyde Fant is," said Abrahim Fashho, the co-owner of On Time Fashions.

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