Visit Longview Marketplace Opens in New Downtown Space | Local
The Visit Longview Marketplace in downtown officially opened on Thursday, offering a variety of merchandise celebrating the city and Texas.
The market staged a smooth opening last week that coincided with ArtWalk.
The marketplace is operated by Visit Longview (also known as the Longview Convention and Visitors Bureau) and was previously located at Town Hall, according to the city. It also functions as a reception center.
In August, city council approved a three-year lease for space at 109 W. Tyler St. at a rental cost of $ 3,000 per month. The agreement includes the cost of utilities and allows the city to terminate the lease earlier without penalty, according to the city. The office is close to Deb’s Downtown Diner, Oil Horse Brewing Co. and Ollie’s Skate Shop.
City tourism administrator CJ Clayton said business was stable during ArtWalk. Many people have stopped by to buy Longview T-shirts.
Clayton said local company Global Graphics / Locker Room prints the shirts for the store.
“I tried to stay local,” she said.
Clayton believes the downtown move will bring more new faces to the Visitor Center.
“I believe that where we were located (at city hall) we were hidden and we want to be in foot traffic,” she said. “Our downtown has grown tremendously over the past two years, so I think it’s a good time, we can improve that.”
Clayton previously worked in the hospitality industry and said he was asked frequently if there were any local gift shops. With that in mind, she made it a priority to find and deliver memories centered around Longview.
Specifically, she said the gift shop needed postcards. As far as she knows, no other business in town offers personalized postcards of the town.
“It’s our job to promote Longview,” she said. “It’s just another way to do it.”
One of the store’s goals is to spotlight local artists and businesses that don’t have an opportunity to exhibit their work.
Clayton said they “were trying to encourage people who don’t have a storefront that maybe we can help them.”
The smooth opening to ArtWalk served as a preview for the market and to get its name known to the community, Clayton said.
“Besides the fact that we wanted people to know we were here, it was also kind of letting the local artists know that we would definitely be interested if they were interested in doing something with us,” he said. she declared. “We have a small store, so we will encourage them to make the effort to contact us because I don’t think we can fit everyone in.
“But we just want to open that door. If they don’t have a storefront and they want to get their name out there, we would like to… work on something, some kind of partnership.”
The store will carry a variety of items that cannot be found anywhere other than online, Clayton said.
“We don’t want to take the place of another local store; we just want to encourage more growth in this area, ”she said.
A variety of items can be found in the shop, including t-shirts, postcards, mugs, shot glasses, a small selection of pet supplies, playing cards, jewelry, buttons, tote bags, ornaments, Texas shaped cookie cutters, snacks from Heartisans Marketplace, local honey from Piney Woods Bee Company and spices and barbecue sauce from Bodacious.