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Martinsburg group surveys downtown trends

August 01, 2000

Martinsburg group surveys downtown trends



By ANDREW SCHOTZ / Staff Writer, Martinsburg


MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Main Street Martinsburg, Inc. is surveying dining and shopping trends in the downtown area.

Tracie Ford, the executive director of the nonprofit business advocacy organization, said that a written survey asks patrons and workers about their habits and preferences downtown. The results will be used to attract new businesses, she said.

"This is all part of the revitalization of downtown," Ford said. "You have to give the people what they want."

Everyone who responds by Aug. 11 can get a free "goodie bag" from DeFluri's Fine Chocolates on North Queen Street.

Respondents are asked if they shop for items in 34 categories, and if they do, whether it's in the downtown, at a large retail chain store, at a mall, or elsewhere.

There is space for respondents to list the types of stores they'd like to see added to the downtown.

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The survey also asks people to rate the downtown in 11 areas, such as parking, cleanliness, safety and traffic flow.

Ford said the survey at first was aimed only at downtown workers. It starts with questions about the hours people work, how they get to their job and where and when they eat lunch.

Other questions ask if workers during their lunch breaks use the public library or a gym, shop, go for a walk or run errands.

Despite the initial focus, anyone who shops or drives through downtown can respond, she said.

According to Ford, Main Street Martinsburg treats a 55-block area as the downtown. The boundaries are roughly Charles Street and Winchester Avenue to the west, South Street to the south, Water Street and White Avenue to the east and Exchange Place and Boyd Avenue to the north.

Ford said the survey will be distributed in the Berkeley County and City of Martinsburg government newsletters and given to business owners to pass along to their employees.

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