Curt is Chicago native - but don't hold that against him. After stops in Madison and California, he moved to Waukesha in 2004 to open a downtown business.
Pulling one over one you guys is not an easy task…although I did receive a share of phone calls, emails, and comments on the street from folks who were excited (and concerned) about the last blog.
But in truth, if you don’t know it by now, the fabled coffee empire I said was coming to our fair downtown was nothing more than a lot of hot air (for now).
However, I didn’t go through all that trouble just to dupe you. I was actually hoping to generate a little conversation among folks regarding the issue.
What everyone keeps telling us is that Harley Fest is going to be the greatest thing to happen to downtown Waukesha in the world ever.
And let’s face it, holding a sizeable event such as Harley Fest in our downtown is going to be something unlike we have ever seen before. It’s exciting and it’s groundbreaking.
In addition, having only six months to prepare for it makes the whole thing all that more interesting.
If 120,000 people come downtown over Labor Day weekend, many of the businesses here are going to have a great three days.
Coffee shops will burst at their seams. Bars will be pouring brews well into the evenings. Restaurants will serve thousands of dishes. And when it is all over, they will sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Perhaps a few Harley riders will return in the future, with friends even, and enjoy Waukesha on a regular basis.
That’s a good thing too.
On the grand scale of things, Waukesha is going to finally get its “15 minutes” that weekend.
What I was trying to accomplish with that blog was to make people slow down and take a good, hard look past those 15 minutes.
What if Harley Fest spawns the rebirth of big business in downtown Waukesha?
Are the current downtown based businesses ready to compete with a Starbucks, or an Outback Steak House, or a Mo’s Irish Pub, or a Borders Bookstore?
What we have down here now is quaint. And with a little effort, it could become trendy.
But if it sways too far, it could quite possibly become another Bayshore. Soon after that, the little guys are gone and we are left with what will amount to nothing more than a mall.
I’ve always wanted to live in a mall. I hope they put in nice bathrooms.