AUSTIN (KXAN) – The Downtown Austin Alliance says downtown is slowly recovering, with increased foot traffic, taxable alcohol sales and even new businesses opening their doors.
But those numbers still have not reached pre-pandemic levels, and the alliance said two areas need a big boost from Austinites live music districts and overall everyday activity.
Some entertainment districts, such as Rainey and West Sixth Street, are thriving and “have either returned to or exceeded pre-pandemic levels of interaction,” DAA spokeswoman Bianca Moreno-Paz wrote in an email to KXAN.
But districts “that are heavily dependent on live music – like Red River and East Sixth Street – continue to lag behind,” according to the report.
“Austinites can help reaffirm and support our Live Music Capital of the World status by attending a show or dining in these districts,” the report’s authors suggest.
The report indicates that a good sign that the center is improving is that 36 new businesses have opened since February 2020, most of them restaurants and bars.
They say that weekly visits to the center are also moving in the right direction. In August, it was at 81% of the pre-pandemic level.
However, the majority of these visits take place on weekends, and “companies that rely on the office to use staff continue to wait for a consistent return of their customer base,” according to the report.
Pedestrian counts along Congress Avenue, for example, are at or below 60% of what they were on weekdays before the pandemic.
“Austinites can help these businesses by being aware of visiting them especially during business hours,” the DAA suggests.
KXAN’s Tahera Rahman wants more about the pandemic impact on downtown businesses on KXAN News at 18.00
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