Last night the YpsiVotes group held the first Fuature of Downtown Ypsilanti Business session and there was a great turn-out. There were around100 people in the room at the EMU College of Business. A lot of local business people turned out to participate as well as interested people from the community. It was great to see so many people that really want to see downtown Ypsi thrive. As has become so clear to me over the last couple of years the people who live in Ypsilanti, really love this town and want to re-build it. I recorded the event as did Steve Pierce and as soon as I get it transfered and encoded in the next day or so you’ll be able to watch the whole thing from the YpsiVotes feed.
The event started with a presentation by the dean of the EMU business school David E. Mielke. The presentation that Mark Maynard did on the history and status of downtown Ypsi is also available. Speakers included David Curtis (Pub 13, Club Divine) Tandra Williams (Puffer Red’s) Paul Shemon (Cogdon’s Ace Hardware) Jennifer Albaum (Henrietta Fahrenheit) Reynold Lowe (Materials Unlimited) Peter Rinehart(Bombadil’s). The speakers talked about their experiences trying to open and operate a business downtown. The results have obviously been mixed with some (Bombadil’s) being more successful than others (Henrietta Fahrenheit). One interesting thing to learn was that such a high percentage of downtown businesses are locally owned. Other attendees included Linda French, Brian Robb, and prospective mayor Paul Schrieber. The best thing was to see so many people who are optimistic about the potential of Ypsilanti and are willing to work so hard to make it happen.