Page 6-Wednesday, July 22,1981-The Michigan Daily
LOCAL BUSINESSES ANTICIPA TE USUAL CR0WDS
Merchants prepare for boom
By MARK GINDIN
Daily staff writer
With 300,000 people converging on Ann Arbor in a
four-day period, the business climate in the city is, as
expected, one of anticipation and preparation.
Pizza parlors are ordering more dough, T-shirt
emporiums are ordering more T-shirts, and depar-
tment stores plan to clean out their warehouses.
Business is preparing for a boom, and for good
BUSINESS AT THE Count of Antipasto restaurant
increases 400 to 500 percent during the Fair, said Rick
Bahr, the general manager of The Count and Good
Time Charlie's Bar and Grill. "We get ready at least
two weeks beforehand," he said.
The normal summer rate is doubled during the
Fair, said Mike Mekas of Pretzel Bell on Liberty near
Main. It's just like another holiday as far as business
goes, he said, adding that the staff must be increased
to accommodate the crowds.
Besides staff additions, local merchants also
change their store displays to accommodate the in-
creased traffic. The "big seller" at Stein & Goetz
Sporting goods on Mair Street is University of
Michigan memorabilia, said. Matt Derrenberger of
MOST OF THE more than 40 percent increase in
sales last year was the souvenier trade and impulse
buying, said Derrenberger. Window displays are
changed to attract the impulse buyer, he said. There
is a constant flow of people past the window and if
only 10 percent of them stop, the effort is worth it,
Merchants are helped in their planning and coor-
dination by business organizations in the city. The
Downtown Business and Development Association
has organized the annual Bargain Days in the down-
town area, said Dale Apley, president of DBDA.
A permit allowing a huge sidewalk sale is acquired
from the city each year, said Apley, and businesses
are urged to take advantage of the opportunity.
"Ninety percent of the merchants usually have a
sidewalk display," he said.
"WE HAVE A sidewalk sale," said Donna Moran,
manager of Goodyear's department store on Main
Street. The store also offers hot dogs among the mer-
chandise, she said. Most prices in the store are
reduced to provide larger bargains and entice people
into the store, said Moran. The store hours are also
changed for the fair, she added.
State Street Area Art Fair Association has coor-
dinated the art fair in the State Street area since 1968,
according to Nancy Willson of the Association. Even-
ts besides the fair and sidewalk sales are planned for
the fair, she said.
A slide show benefiting the Michigan Theatre will
be held on Liberty street near the Theatre, as well as
shows organized by Second Chance, a local bar.
Jacobson's, another department store in town, does
not treat the art fair any differently than any other
day, said Kevin Green, a spokesman. Jacobson's
doesn't need to profit from the increased traffic
during the art fair, he said. "We are probably the
only store in Ann Arbor" that does not have any
special activity during the sale, he added.
Businessmen are generally behind the idea of an
art fair and many ignore the criticism of over-
commercialization and loss of character and genuine
The Art Fair has expanded considerably since its
inception in 1959 and most businessmen support the
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