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Main Street seeks community input

December 28, 2017

Rehoboth Beach Main Street is now back in business, and its new leadership is looking for ideas from the community as to how to move forward.

“I don’t really look at this as a business organization. I look at it as an organization that has a lot of business involved, so the residents are taken into consideration,” Main Street Chairman Trey Kraus said. “I look for opportunities to unify the community.”

Kraus said Main Street is looking for volunteers to serve on committees.

Kaisy’s Delights co-owner Thierry Langer said Main Street should come up with a calendar on its website to alert people to events in Rehoboth, and there should be more signs outside town advertising Rehoboth as a destination. Main Street should organize more cultural events, he said.

Kraus said Main Street will have a billboard coming from Dewey Beach just after the Route 1 canal bridge. He said there will be more opportunities for events when the convention center reopens early next year.

Michael Thanner, owner of MGT and Co. on Baltimore Avenue, suggested better lighting on Baltimore Avenue. Commissioner Kathy McGuiness said revitalizing Baltimore Avenue was in the 2010 comprehensive development plan, and she hoped Main Street could help lead the way in making it happen.

“The city needs to hear from you all,” she said.

Commissioner Lisa Schlosser suggested rebranding Baltimore Avenue as the city’s arts and cultural district, as it contains the Clear Space Theatre and CAMP Rehoboth’s community center, in addition to shops and restaurants.

Spiros Mantzavinos, of digital marketing firm Engage Company, said Main Street should develop a mobile app to notify people of events and things to do in town.

Main Street had announced it was disbanding in May 2016, but in March 2017, a new board of directors reorganized, and in November,  the city commissioners gave Main Street $20,000 in temporary funding, use of the city-owned office space near the Rehoboth Beach Museum and returned the organization’s phone number. Permanent funding of Main Street will be debated during the commissioners’ budget talks, set to begin in January.

The rebirth of the organization is an opportunity to build on something people already like and make it better.

“We shouldn’t have to apologize for being popular. We should make it work to our advantage,” Kraus said. “We’re blessed and fortunate to have a place people still want to come to.”