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Life is returning to our precinct

Life is returning to our precinct
Jeremy Vincent

It’s encouraging to see the steadily increasing foot traffic on Southbank and Crown Promenades, and while it may not mean commensurate increases in sales for our businesses, at least it shows growing public confidence to get out and about.

The return of events to MCEC is also significantly boosting foot traffic in the western end of the precinct, which usually has a direct flow-on to South Wharf businesses. The rebuilding trade and a shortage of staff means that some of your favourite eating places may still be on limited opening days and hours. Those people who now staff many venues are younger and lacking experience, so please show patience.

Overnight stays in our hotels have the greatest trickle-down economic effect, so we have been directing a $100 cash-back offer to our wide social media following since November. They can choose to stay at The Langham, Clarion Suites, Quest Southbank, Pan Pacific or Crowne Plaza. The feedback we ‘ve been getting about how much they enjoyed their stay in our precinct is encouraging that it will not be long before substantial trade returns.

Autumn is an ideal time to holiday in Southbank and our cash-back offers, especially when combined with the renewed Melbourne Money scheme, could make it significantly cheaper than heading into the country or interstate for a well-deserved break. Why not encourage friends and relatives to experience your Southbank lifestyle?

By now I hope you have received your 2022 edition of the Southbank Directory. If you’ve glanced inside you will see that it contains 13 special offers from our businesses to residents of postcode 3006. We hope over the past two years our work through Southbank News has revealed most of our business community to be flesh and blood, small operations and, in some cases, family run affairs.

We also hope that the past two years have shown our businesses that the 18,000 residents of Southbank and South Wharf should be a fundamental part of their business strategy. Even when the tourist tap starts to flow again, we want you – the residents – to underpin their operations. In many cases this may require them to re-think a little about what they sell or produce, and at what price point.

After 30 years of being Melbourne’s leading tourist and recreation node, Southbank will be undergoing some major changes in the next few years. Residents are invited to join with the business community on Thursday, April 7 on Eureka 89 to be part of an information-packed session entitled “The Changing Face of Southbank”. It’s an excellent $77 worth of fine food, beverages and information, not to mention outstanding views over Melbourne •

To book your ticket: yarrariver.melbourne/lunch

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