In times past, before the proli*feration of shopping malls on the island, Mainstreet was THE place to stroll and shop, and it is the current administration’s plan to see it again become the center of fashion and commerce it once was. However, in the process of improving and beautifying Oranjestad, there is a reconstruction phase.
Diane Flemming of Maggy’s Emporium, who is Secretary for MAMBO (Merchants for a Better Mainstreet) reminds the public that sidewalks that line the main street are perfectly accessible, and holiday shopping time is here, with many special events and sidewalk sales planned by the Oranjestad stores. “All the traditionally favorite stores of Oranjestad, La Linda and Bon Bini Bazaar can easily be reached.”
MAMBO does encourage all to visit the display in the former Interbank building, which clearly outlines the final plan for Oranjestad and other areas, with tasteful artists’ renderings allowing residents and business people to visualize the improvements.
It was also explained that the government plan includes a formalized public/private partnership in maintaining the area with an agency called the Business Improvement Department, or BID. This will allow for professionals in infrastructure maintenance, marketing and event planning to administrate Oranjestad’s principal shopping district.
“Since parking was never allowed on Caya Betico Croes, the work really has negligible effect on this issue,” opined Diane, though she concedes it could stand improving. “Many are not aware that the parking lots from Aruba Bank and CMB Bank are open and free to the public on weekends and after 4:30, when the banks are not doing business. So there is more convenient parking available than most realize or fully take advantage of.”
Oranjestad’s main street has always been a treasured gathering place and center for commerce for islanders, particularly at holiday time. Soon, festive events will be taking place every Saturday, and MAMBO reminds the community to support their long-standing members of the community doing business there though these difficult times, as well enjoying excellent bargains and a diversity of choices for their holiday shopping.
Moomba Beach, Eagle Beach - just about anywhere I can wiggle my toes in the sand and enjoy an ice cold Bright
Lisa, thanks for sharing this story. I have always been a fan of Main Street and have spent many hours wandering up and down it and its smaller side streets. Does anyone remember when there was a retro burger joint down towards the end? It only survived a few years but I loved that place. I can't wait to see what Main Street looks like in February.