Q: How would you compare this summer to last?
A: nVisitors are trending ahead of 2022. Our revenue is up over 60 percent year over year.
Q: Are we fully out of COVID?
A: No, we aren’t. People are traveling differently, looking for creative new outdoor ideas. There has been a lot of pent-up travel need, the so-called “I have been waiting to take this trip” mentality. Cultural and art organizations have also not fully recovered, as it took longer for patrons to feel comfortable returning to crowded locations. And staffing for retail continues to hamper growth and successes with Covid cases rising again.
Q: What new programs have you instituted and how successful were they?
A: The Concord Visitor Center has launched three new tours in 2023, all available at visitconcord.org:
1. The Concord Armory Tour to collaborate with Concord 250;
2. Packaging with the Concord Museum for joint admission and a walking tour; and
3. Partnering with the Barnstable Land Trust on a special walking tour dedicated to Henry David Thoreau.
We also launched a Concord Trivia program designed to bring Concord history to those not able to travel or with mobility concerns. This engaging hour-long presentation is making the rounds at senior housing and activity centers.
Q: A: What do you take away from the summer that worked, and didn’t? Things you’d repeat or let go?
The summer sidewalk sale in Concord Center sponsored by the Chamber and Town was very successful. Ag Day, sponsored by the Ag Day Committee, was also a great day. Visitors and residents alike enjoy finding downtowns that are engaging and lively. There is increasing momentum for new fun outdoor activities.
Q: What did you hear from merchants, positive and/or negative?
A: Overall, the Chamber of Commerce members that I work most closely with report a very solid summer, with activity slightly up over last year overall. The biggest impediments to success are staffing and construction. We also had some very damaging flooding.