Friday, March 27, 2009

The Wilmington Riverfront

We have been so very fortunate to have our Wilmington Riverfront take shape in such a short period of time. About 12 years ago I heard that the City of Wilmington / State of Delaware had plans to renovate this section of Wilmington. I knew about the plans since our family business, Bell Supply, was located on the corner where the new Barclay's Bank now stands. The State of Delaware paid a handsome price for the Bell Supply property and also paid Bell's money to move so they could begin to develop the area. In the end all worked out well. (Bell's is now located across from Delaware Park in Stanton). I use to handle a 5k 10k on the Baltimore Inner Harbor and was so impressed with how Baltimore was able to make it such a wonderful tourist destination. I was hoping the Wilmington Riverfront would do the same thing. I had a meeting yesterday with a new group planning to stage a walk on the Riverfront. The organization is located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and they stage other walks in Philadelphia and Cherry Hill. The executive director who I met with was from Cherry Hill and had never been to Wilmington's Riverfront. We met at Dravo Plaza and chatted about set up and the plans for this event. We then drove the route so she would get a better idea of the area, where volunteers and police would be needed, and to see where water stops would be located. After riding the course I asked her if she had any further questions. Her only comment was, "I can' believe how beautiful this waterfront is.....I was not expecting this at all." She could not wait to go back to her office to let her staff and committee members know how impressed she was. That is the beauty of us staging running and walking events on our riverfront. We are able to attract many folks who have never been there before and now that that have they all want to come back. And that is a win win situation.