Saturday, November 22, 2003

Kentucky retailers join forces for season



By Randy Tucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer

NEWPORT - Representatives of Newport on the Levee, Covington's MainStrasse Village, Hofbrauhaus Newport and other retailers announced a collective marketing effort Friday intended to boost traffic for Northern Kentucky retailers over the holidays and throughout the year.

The group will kick off the initiative with a weekend event dubbed "Northern Kentucky Gift-Wrapped'' Dec. 5-7. The goal is to increase business during the first weekend in December by 5 percent to 10 percent above last year, organizers said.

"Everyone has put aside their competitive interests and decided to work together to help grow tourism and their own businesses,'' said Pat Frew, a spokesman for the Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau, which brought the retailers together about six weeks ago.

Frew said the event will be promoted throughout the Tristate, and he expects the initiative to attract visitors from as far away as Indianapolis and Louisville.

The event will highlight Northern Kentucky's unique shops, restaurants and attractions with special events, including a beer garden walk Dec. 5 from 5-10 p.m. at Hofbrauhaus, Third and Washington streets, across the street from the Newport on the Levee retail and entertainment complex.

"Northern Kentucky has seen a lot of changes over the past few years, and I believe that we have a responsibility to the community to support efforts that will make the area stronger,'' said Nick Ellison, a Hofbrauhaus investment partner.

Santa will trade in his holiday gear for a wet suit Dec. 6 and dive into one of the tanks at the Newport Aquarium, where he will present Santa's Water Wonderland to live audiences.

On Dec. 7, the public has been invited to participate in a tree-decorating contest and auction to benefit 25 nonprofit organizations.

E-mail rtucker@enquirer.com



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