No one can dispute the fact that the annual Mayor’s Cup Festival is a great boost to downtown Plattsburgh businesses. So, where is the reciprocation?
With large crowds showing up downtown for the better part of three days for music, fireworks and other activities, area businesses benefit greatly from the increased traffic.
Yet, despite what would seem to be a tremendous opportunity to cash in, most downtown businesses didn’t offer any kind of sponsorship for the Mayor’s Cup this year.
A look at the list of sponsors for 2012 shows that only a few downtown businesses donated funds or services for the event. Warren Tire and Church Oil, two downtown enterprises that hardly benefit from walkup traffic from the Mayor’s Cup, each gave a generous $2,500. Northern Insuring on Margaret Street gave $1,000, and Donlan and Barcomb, a financial investment firm on Brinkerhoff Street, donated $500, even though it may not benefit directly from the festivities. (The Press-Republican contributed toward promotional costs for the event, by the way.)
We salute the downtown businesses who saw a wise investment in supporting this popular event and can’t help wonder why some of the others didn’t step up to help.
City Hall Place is closed off to vehicle traffic during the Mayor’s Cup, which provides for a steady stream of foot traffic. A small number of vendors do set up in Trinity Park, but numerous pedestrians still stop in and spend money at downtown restaurants, bars and businesses, especially those that offer street service or Mayor’s Cup specials.
Mickey’s Restaurant gave $500, and its site on Riley Avenue is quite a distance from the heart of the action. None of the eateries or bars in the core of downtown put in a penny toward the Mayor’s Cup Festival this year.
The Mayor’s Cup, a decade ago, was a nine-day party with a budget approaching $200,000. But with lean fiscal times, the city was forced to scale back on the event and the budget. Now, it is largely run by donations from area businesses, with some in-kind services provided by the city.
The city raised a total of $43,400 in donations this year. Besides Warren Tire and Church Oil, the biggest donors ($2,500 and up) were: First Niagara, Price Chopper, CVPH Medical Center, Marshall & Sterling, Plattsburgh Alumni Association (which planned its reunion to correspond with Mayor’s Cup), Charter Communications, Casella and TD Bank North.
In future years, if the city can secure more donations and a bigger budget, the event could grow to become even more lucrative for downtown businesses.
The Mayor’s Cup is a perfect chance for those businesses to show support for their city.