February 22, 2016 8:41 pm
Updated: February 22, 2016 8:52 pm

Regina’s business boom: Downtown shops shine bright despite gloomy economic forecast

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REGINA – Atlantis Coffee’s second downtown location has only been open a month, but so far business is pouring in.

The local coffee shop has planned on expanding for quite some time. It wasn’t until the perfect downtown location became available that they jumped at the opportunity.

“We’ve had other opportunities in other areas of the city but they didn’t seem to fit like the way this one did,” Atlantis Coffee’s Timothy Martin said.

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“The buses are right in front. We get some of that traffic, bus drivers, bus riders, SGI, Sasktel, a lot of office workers.”

Despite the falling economy, it’s one of many businesses in the downtown core that are not only surviving but thriving.

“We’ve been busy. With downtown growing the way it has, we’ve been seeing quite a bit of numbers,” Victoria’s Tavern General Manager Ryan Johnson said.

Since May 2014, over 20 new businesses have opened up shop in the city’s centre.

According to the Regina Downtown Business Improvement District (RDBID), a lot of the boom has to do with the younger generation.

“I like to think there’s more things to do downtown and I also think it’s the age of the folks that we’re seeing downtown,” Judith Veresuk, the RDBID executive director, explained.

“There’s a trend among millennials wanting to be downtown in an exciting environment.”

Versuk also explained that building permits in the past years have also increased, contributing to the variety of the downtown core.

And without pointing to any single cause, foot traffic has definitely increased.

”We do pedestrian counts every year. Our last one was May 2015, and we had a 25 percent increase in our pedestrian count,” Veresuk said.

“We expect it to be higher when we do the count this year.”

“I think because you don’t have to walk seven blocks to get to the next place. Now it’s just one block, people are more willing to do that now”, Martin said.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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