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Legacy Village lacks customers

Barricade may be keeping people away from vendors

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Jill Young said she paid $3,700 to be a food vendor in the Legacy Village, in uptown Charlotte, during the Democratic National Convention. On Wednesday afternoon she sat outside her tent watching, waiting and hoping people would stop and buy a cup of her Italian ice to make her investment worthwhile.

Young is one of at least three vendors in the temporary outdoor village unhappy with the smaller-than-expected amount of business they’ve done so far.

“It’s been very, very slow. Extremely slow,” Young said.

Legacy Village, next to the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture on South Tryon Street, showcases community efforts to support Mayor Anthony Foxx’s civic initiatives, including energy sustainability and healthier families.

In addition to tents showcasing the initiatives, there are food and retail vendors there. Thirty vendors had signed up for tents for the week.

Some of the vendors had been out on the streets during Monday’s CarolinaFest and business was booming.

Jack Dixey, a political button vendor from Ohio with a tent in Legacy Village, said the business he did in that one day made the trip to Charlotte worthwhile. He noted, however, that Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s sales had not been as good.

A few tents away, Marcy Nation, from Atlanta, sells bumper stickers, jewelry and other items. She was hoping for more foot traffic in the village.

“I spent a lot of money,” she said, “and I’m in the hole.”

Nation said the barricade between the village site and the Charlotte Convention Center on College Street may be keeping customers away.

In order to make back the $3,700 she paid for her tent site, Young will have to sell have to sell 925 of her small Italian ices.

She said she assumed the Legacy Village would be busy during all three days of the DNC, given that an estimated 35,000 visitors would be coming to Charlotte for the convention. But she said that hasn’t been the case.

Ross: 704-358-5170
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