Advertisement

Longtime Downtown Kingston BIA managing director could be moving on

Click to play video 'Managing director of “Downtown Kingston” BIA could be leaving post' Managing director of “Downtown Kingston” BIA could be leaving post
WATCH: Doug Ritchie confirms he's in exit talks with BIA board.

The long-time face of Downtown Kingston could soon be moving on.

Doug Ritchie, managing director of the downtown BIA, confirmed to Global News on Thursday that he’s in “exit” talks with the BIA board. Ritchie says he’s in negotiations to step down and “the talks are at a critical stage and continuing in a positive tone.”

“That’s what we’re talking about,” Ritchie said. “A retirement plan.”

READ MORE: Heat warnings issued for Ottawa, Kingston regions this weekend

The 68 year-old Ritchie first joined the BIA when it was formed back in 1983. During the past 38 years, Ritchie helped to transform the downtown area into a hub destination with a variety of annual festivals, from FebFest to Buskers and Bluesfest. Ritchie has won awards for his projects and initiatives.

Story continues below advertisement

Referring to a possible change in direction at the BIA in light of COVID-19, Ritchie acknowledges the pandemic has taken a toll on the downtown.

“I’ve enjoyed it immensely, but certainly it’s a much more different time right now,” he said.

As for Ritchie’s departure, he says, “I think we’ll have an announcement very soon.”

Ritchie, a Toronto native, received a lifetime achievement award from his BIA peers from across the province in 2017.

Click to play video 'Recreation and leisure businesses seeing increase in customers in Kingston' Recreation and leisure businesses seeing increase in customers in Kingston
Recreation and leisure businesses seeing increase in customers in Kingston