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Friday, Sep 30, 2022
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Newhall District Events Drum Up Late Night Business

Many downtown Newhall businesses are staying open late in hopes of capturing a windfall from Santa Clarita events, aimed to boost business in the city’s redevelopment area. The city debuted “Senses” last month, a themed event featuring entertainment such as live music, street performers, art displays, games and food trucks. In recent months, the city added food trucks to some farmers’ market events in Newhall, the oldest and most historic part of Santa Clarita. Madison Schwartz, owner of clothing boutique Fresh Lifestyle on Main Street, said the first “Senses” event was a major boost for her business. “I had the best day I’ve ever had at my store,” Schwartz said. “I made my rent in one day, and that’s the beauty.” The monthly events are designed to raise public awareness about the variety of businesses located in downtown Newhall and to help them attract new customers, said Jason Crawford, the city’s economic development and marketing manager. Newhall has been a designated redevelopment area for the past decade. The area has struggled with business vacancies and “distressed and blighted property,” but its image has improved in the past year, Crawford said. New businesses are moving into the corridor, a streetscape project has improved aesthetics on Main Street, and a new library is under construction. “We’re seeing a lot of excitement about Newhall right now,” Crawford said. OutWest, Pulchella Winery, Newhall Bicycle Company, VO2 Fitness & Nutrition, and other businesses stayed open late for the “Senses” event last month. The event runs every third Thursday from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. Bobbi Jean Bell, co-owner of OutWest, said she hopes the event draws newcomers to her Western-themed boutique. “It’s all about introducing the area to the people who haven’t been here before,” Bell said. Tim Crissman, chairman of the Old Town Newhall Association, said the organization has been encouraging business owners to have a sidewalk display and engage in conversations with event attendees. Each event has its own appeal, he said. A few months ago, when food trucks hit the streets at the Newhall Farmers Market for the first time, about 3,000 people showed up, Crissman said. He said that event marked a dramatic increase in attendance from previous farmers’ market events. “Senses” is appealing, in part, because it has a different theme each month, Crissman said. Last month, the event had a 1980s theme and drew about 300 people. This month, the event will feature a beach theme. Schwartz said she is already making plans for the upcoming event. The business owner is coordinating a beach-themed fashion show. In August, she is hoping to have a local bakery feature its high-end desserts in her store on event nights. She said she may even start offering free champagne, strawberries and hourly specials to her shoppers.

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