KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) – The revitalization of the city center is something that is much talked about, but few people think about the difficulty of the task.
Well, there was a lot of scrambling for vendors at a recently opened flea market in downtown Killeen. Part of the problem is that hardly anyone goes downtown, but vendors are hoping to change that.
“The traffic here has increased somewhat,” said Tamara Allen-McVay, a saleswoman at the Killeen Gold Flea Market.
It’s a mildly optimistic view that Allen-McVay and others have echoed recently, since the Golden Flea opened about a year ago.
Getting sellers and buyers there has been a challenge in part because of the location.
“Like I said, I didn’t even know it was open, I didn’t even know it was here,” said Jessamy Hairford, who is also a salesman.
Hairford and Allen-McVay are among the dozen vendors who visit the market each week.
“The first thing people think of when they see the address is downtown? Over there?” said Hairford.
The struggle to get people downtown also comes as the town of Killeen also strives to get more.
In January, small business grants worth $1 million were announced. Over the weekend, the town also hosted the three-day Celebrate Killeen festival.
“I think there’s a future for this, but I think it needs a lot of work,” Hairford said.
All is not bad, however. Vendors noticed more people arriving after installing more signage throughout the area.
“We just invite people, just to come and see. Before they take any deterrent and say, “oh no, it’s downtown,” Allen-McVay said.
Still, there are some suggestions about what might get more people there.
“So little things like this will make it more family friendly. Give me a reason to go, give me something to do there besides picking up papers or a permit for a garage sale, etc., etc. said Hairford.
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