I am the owner of The Happy Place and Boone Rock N Roll Emporium in the Boone Mini Mall. I am writing on behalf of downtown Boone’s merchants. I must inform you about the many complaints we have received from our customers about the time limit on the meters. One hour is not long enough.
Customers are trying on clothes and wanting to enjoy a lovely day in Boone at our wonderful and unique store, but they cannot relax. They must run back to the meter and put more money in. This distracts the customer and makes them leave town frustrated and thinking of their experience as unpleasant.
Many of the merchants have said their customers have threatened to never return to downtown Boone in direct response to the meters or receiving a ticket. All of the merchants I have spoken to have expressed an extreme decrease in sales since the meters have been installed. Obviously we are dealing with a new system and I feel there is hope for the idea if a few changes are put into place.
First of all, I would like to suggest that we temporarily bring back the validation stamps. At least we have a way to sooth our angry customers and maybe salvage some of the business we have lost.
Secondly, the meters must be two hours, at least. I would suggest three, but I am trying to compromise here. There could be a “patrons only” sign put up and students would receive a ticket for abusing the customer parking. We must make ASU acountable that they address their parking issues. This should not be the towns problem.
Summer is our busiest time and we must have happy customers if we plan to keep downtown Boone alive and thriving. The unique shops and restaurants are the heart of downtown Boone and they are struggling.
We must take action immediately. Time is of the essence.
Krista Kull, owner of The Happy Place and Boone Rock N Roll Emporium