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Downtown construction could put a hold on outdoor events

By Ashlie Rodriguez, Reporter
Published On: Mar 20 2013 07:11:58 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 20 2013 08:28:53 PM CDT

ABC-7's Ashlie Rodriguez reports.

EL PASO, Texas -

It seems like on every corner there is a construction zone in a sea of orange, roads are closed, traffic is rerouted and the soundtrack loud.

"We won't lie. There will be an inconvenience with any construction site," Veronica Soto, executive director of the Downtown Management District.

Ballpark construction could prove to be more than just inconvenient, it could be costly to downtown business. Last year, downtown hosted 21 outdoor events, attracted more than a 123,000 people and generated $1.5 million dollars.

Those numbers could be cut in half according to Soto, who says numerous events may have switch locations or reschedule. The neon desert music festival scheduled this may won't be affected, but their organizer tells me that in 2014, nearby building projects may force them to rethink their usual spot -- San Jacinto park.

"It's a matter of just getting through the construction until we build an even better downtown," Soto said.

Construction zones, traffic jams, and limited parking are all expected to contribute to the dip in revenue generated downtown this year, but event planners are optimistic about the potential of 2014 and 2015.

"The inconveniences that are created by the construction and redevelopment of downtown --- I think they're far outweighed by what's going to happen," said Kupper Gray owner of Kipp's Cheesesteaks.

Gray said the noise and chaos is a only minor disruption to his downtown eatery but for now, he's willing to stick it out if it means bigger crowds.

"This time more so than any other," Gray. "I think it's really starting to get a hold and people are excited all over town."

For an update on a construction visit the Downtown Management District's Insider page

 

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