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June 28, 2017

Longer store hours, more dining sought in Old Town

File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Survey respondents want more restaurants to join Claire’s at The Depot, known for its seafood, and other eateries downtown.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Customers want extended store hours, more restaurants, more business variety, better parking and a more child-friendly Old Town Warrenton, according to results of a recent online survey.

The town’s new Main Street program, Experience Old Town Warrenton conducted the survey May 7-11 via Survey Monkey.

More than 300 town and county residents and visitors responded to the nine-question survey.

Among the results, citizens want to see restaurants, clothing shops, a bookstore, ice cream shop, a movie theatre and bowling alley come to the downtown area.

Sixty-two percent of survey respondents tend to shop in Old Town from 1 to 5 p.m. or thereafter, when many stores close.

Forty-two percent said they typically shop in Old Town on Saturday.

Survey respondents used these words, among others, to describe Old Town: old, boring, small, limited, potential, pretty and family.

“Part of Experience Old Town Warrenton’s mission is to help foster an environment in Old Town that enhances economic vitality, so it’s a great place to live, play and do business,” said Paula Combs, who volunteers as the program’s marketing director.

“We will use it to help guide part of our strategic planning. The data, along with other data collected by the town, will help us with items such as new business, marketing and outreach strategies,” added Ms. Combs, a Piedmont Environmental Council staff member. “EOTW will continue to evaluate the needs and desires of residents and visitors.”

A non-profit organization, Experience Old Town Warrenton focuses on preserving history and promoting economic vitality, businesses and social activities in Old Town Warrenton.

The organization plans to hire an executive director, a requirement to regain its status as a certified Virginia Main Street Program affiliate. EOTW recently succeeded the Partnership for Warrenton Foundation, established in 1989.

Experience Old Town Warrenton Survey Results May 2017 by Fauquier Now on Scribd

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Rover 530 · July 3, 2017 at 6:57 pm
Things are changing but many of the businesses in or near Old Town were family-owned businesses and traditionally closed at 5PM so the employees could go home and have dinner. Their customers were mostly local then and also were at their dinner. The modern reality is that this business model doesn't work any more. Many potential customers commute out of the county for their jobs and find that Saturday mornings are their only shot at Old Town businesses. Old Town Warrenton is a virtual ghost town after 2PM on Saturdays while Culpeper, Leesburg and Manassas are alive on the weekends.
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