The recognition of the area as a visitor attraction is something not lost on the Bay & Algoma Business Improvement Association and under the leadership of the association's new President, Norm Sponchia of Villedge Art Gallery (www.villedgeart.com), they are taking steps to make it even more welcoming for visitors.
I had a chance today to walk around the area with Norm where earlier in the day, they erected a stunning new entrance sign to the central Bay Street Block, identifying the area as a historic neighborhood and dressing up a vacant lot formerly operated as a fuel retailer. While a seemingly modest undertaking, its importance is not lost. Good and aesthetically pleasing signage improves business areas by marking them prominently, welcomes visitors and sets the stage for what hopefully becomes a common theme throughout the other business improvement areas. Produced by Brad Hominick Productions, the signage features a golden Sleeping Giant that radiates when hit by sunlight.
What this demonstrates is that improvements to a community to make it more visually attractive to visitors do not have to be expensive. Good signage, painted buildings, swept sidewalks, cut grass and flowers go a long long way to attracting positive attention and increased economic benefits. It also shows the power of small businesses working together. Hats off to Norm and other area business owners for taking the initiative to make the area more aesthetically pleasing and capitalizing on their historic significance. Check out http://www.bayalgoma.com/ to learn more about the area.