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Yarra River Business Association

12 Jul 2016

Do you remember when winter along the Yarra was, basically, going to the footy or a concert at the Arts Centre?

Well, you can still attend plenty of great concerts at Arts Centre Melbourne, but this winter has proved once and for all that colder weather in the Yarra River Precinct can be just as exciting and appealing as the warm months.

The June calendar of events for the river included the ice rink at Fed Square, the new ice slide at Riverside Quay and 10 days of “It’s Snowing on South Wharf”. Add to those major activations the Disney on Ice show at Rod Laver Arena, the kids’ film festival at ACMI, Finding Dory at the aquarium and the Degas exhibition at NGV, and that starts to sound like a Yarra River winter festival.

An official winter festival along the Lower Yarra is exactly what this business association is aiming to achieve, and we will be working hard to make it an official winter event for 2017, with the co-operation and generosity of many of our member organisations.

The precinct is easy to fill between late spring and autumn – the fantastic range of bars and eateries ensures an almost full house. Our challenge is now to boost visitation to our attractions, hospitality venues and accommodation during winter.

It shouldn’t take much to achieve it, because our businesses are already doing great activations during the colder weather.

As a business association, we just need to ensure that it is better co-ordinated and communicated to the public.

Speaking of communication, the best way to keep up with what’s happening along the river bank is to join our Facebook community, which will keep you up to date with not only new events, but also new hospitality products emerging all the time and any special offers from them. We have over 17,000 followers on Facebook and well over 10,000 on Instagram.

The website, yarrariver.melbourne is also a huge source of information about what to see and do along the river, including our ongoing calendar of events, so that you can not only plan what to do on your doorstep this week or this weekend, but also during the weeks to come.

Exciting things to look forward to over the next few months include the new-look and expanded Pure South Dining at Southgate, the start of works on the Southbank Boulevard redevelopment into a linear park, and landscaping works to improve the amenity of the much-neglected Enterprize Park.

Things are always moving ahead in the Yarra River Precinct, but the on-water scenario still lags well behind. The guest speaker at our July 15 business luncheon is the new CEO of Parks Victoria, Bradley Fauteaux, who is formerly of Ontario Parks service in Canada. Parks Victoria controls the on-water activity of the precinct, and it has promised to “lift its game” considerably during the years to come. So, pop along and hear what vision and activities the new CEO has for our waterway. Contact exoff@yarrariver.info for booking information.

John Forman

President

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