Rehoboth Beach Main Street received a new lease on life in February after it was originally slated to end. But with a new lease on life comes the question of, what next?
For new Main Street Board President Heidi Lowe, owner of the Heidi Lowe Gallery at 318 Rehoboth Ave., that’s a question she’s looking to answer as well, as the reconstituted organization determines what it will focus on.
“We want people to come downtown and enjoy all downtown has to offer,” Lowe said. “The town is great. We have a really thriving downtown. How do we bring something that isn’t already here that the chamber is not providing, and the city is not providing? How do we come in and provide a great asset?”
Main Street was slated to dissolve in March, but the board reversed course in February and agreed to transition to a new board. The new Main Street will not have city funding or office space, but the intention is for it to be a grassroots organization run by the businesses that will promote downtown Rehoboth.
“We need to see ourselves as an all-year round business and bringing in things that generate energy. How do we connect with these high-level business owners and make it something that’s better for them, which in turn is better for the community?” Lowe said.
Lowe said she has been talking to business owners around town to get a feel for what they want, and Main Street will be hosting a meet and greet - titled We are all in the boat, from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, June 12, at The Pond on First Street. The event is intended to allow other business owners to meet the new Main Street board and give their input.
“We are gathering information,” she said. “We’ve been walking down the street and talking to business owners and saying, ‘Hey, we’ve got this opportunity to make this what we want.’”
Lowe said she has been taken aback by responses from different business owners about what they liked and didn’t like about Main Street, and their ideas for the future. She said that feedback will be used to determine how the organization moves forward.
“Let’s see as Main Street if we’re relevant, and if we are, we’ll continue,” Lowe said.
She said she does not see Main Street going back to promoting large-scale events like the annual July 4 fireworks, which will now be coordinated by the city. Lowe said the intention of the new board is to focus on smaller events held in the off-season.
“We’ve been able to let go of the things that were holding us back,” she said.
The new Main Street retained five board members and added five new ones. Lowe said a survey will also be sent out to gain additional feedback.
“I’m really interested in energy building and positivity, and bringing that to downtown so what we envision and what we create is really fun and exciting for people to be a part of,” Lowe said.