Jul 30, 2014

Are Palatine's Downtown Festivals Good For Business?

Downtown business owners offer perspectives on the village festivals' impact on business in the area.

Are Palatine's Downtown Festivals Good For Business? Are Palatine's Downtown Festivals Good For Business? Are Palatine's Downtown Festivals Good For Business? Are Palatine's Downtown Festivals Good For Business?

As one business owner prepares to open in downtown Palatine, another business is moving out.

After nearly a decade in business on Slade Street, the owner of Vilma Lee-Heinzinger said she loves her bead and jewelry boutique, but she has to get out of downtown Palatine.

The business will close its Slade Street location Sept. 15 and reopen Oct. 1 near the intersection of Palatine Road and Northwest Highway.

Lee Heinzinger said she decided to leave her job in corporate America to open Facets of Isis after falling in love with Palatine's charm.

“I wasn’t looking to open up a store,” Lee-Heinzinger said. “I just thought downtown Palatine was so cute, but it’s changed.”

Just down the street, Mac Ritz is prepping to open later this month. Ritz wants to be up and running in time for the Downtown Palatine Street Fest Aug. 24-26. 

“It’d be great for us to be open — at least people would know where we are," said Ritz, adding the festival is free advertising.

Lee-Heinzinger disagreed. “It brings in traffic but not business," she said.

Ritz acknowledged the festivals will give him advertising at first but could become competition for the restaurant. The Palatine Oktoberfest Celebration  will take place Sept. 14-16, three weeks after Mac's on Slade's opening. 

The approved the Rotary Club of Palatine’s request to move the beer tent to the intersection of Slade and Brockway — across the street from Mac's and Facets of Isis.

The new location will allow more room for the beer tent.

“The concern is that the beer tent will be bigger, and the places that serve alcohol could lose sales,” Ritz said.

As a new business owner, Ritz said he doesn’t know how the downtown summer festivals will impact his bar. He said he is just excited to have potential customers in the area.

Boutique owner Lee-Heinzinger doesn't need to be concerned about the competition for sales.

Still, she said each year the downtown festivals cost her business and chase away her customers. Whenever there is a beer tent nearby, she said, it causes trouble for her store.

“Right out in front of the store people drink”, Lee-Heinzinger said. “And sometimes they’re actually rude to customers trying to come in here and shop.”

Facets of Isis will close its Slade Street location as Oktoberfest is taking place.

"I wish I was going sooner," she said. "But I'm just glad I won't be here for Oktoberfest."

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