Grand opening ribbon cutting ceremonies set for December 7
ITHACA, NY — Three different types of businesses — a coin shop, women’s clothing store and escape room — have opened recently in downtown and the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, City Mayor Svante Myrick and other prominent members of the community are planning to welcome each of them with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 7.
The first ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. at Cayuga Coins and will be immediately followed by ceremonies at Willow and Escape Ithaca. Downtown Ithaca’s ribbon cuttings are free and open to the public and members of the press.
Cayuga Coins, formerly known as Harold’s Coins, is located on the ground floor of the Dewitt Mall, near Moosewood Restaurant.
Trumansburg resident Bob Lisk, a long-time antique dealer, took over the site and created the business this past summer after the sudden passing of Harold’s Coins owner Harold Benjamin Jr. He was Lisk’s friend.
“Harold was a mentor to me. He was an honest and good business man,” Lisk said. “It’s an honor for me to continue his type of business and his legacy.”
At Cayuga Coins, visitors can buy from the ever-changing collection of stamps, coins, notes, postcards and covers, and philatelic supplies and they can sell their collections, too.
For more information about Cayuga Coins, call (607) 277-3301.
Willow, a women’s clothing boutique, is the site for the day’s second ceremony. The store, located on W. State Street, sells trendy and basic fashions — many of them dedicated to social good whether it is American made, fair trade, or eco-friendly. A variety of scented lotions along with jewelry and other accessories are also available.
During the ceremony, guests will meet store owner Laura Bishop who has a degree in fashion marketing from the Art Institute of Philadelphia and 10 years of retail experience, including four years of managing a store in Cortland.
As part of Willow’s grand opening celebration, customers will receive a special gift with purchase from December 7 through December 10.
For additional information about Willow, call the store at (607) 319-4935. You can also follow Willow on Facebook and Instagram @willowIthaca.
The series of ceremonies will conclude at downtown’s latest entertainment hotspot, Escape Ithaca.
This two-room establishment, which opened in late October, is the city’s first interactive, immersive puzzle game. Filled with riddles, gadgets, and mind tricks, the mysteries behind Escape’s doors will challenge guests and their teammates to 60 minutes of isolation where problem-solving, creativity and resourcefulness are the only skills that will set them free.
Escape Ithaca’s mission is to create educational experiences that foster creativity, team building, and human ingenuity. The entire theme, display, and experience at Escape will be designed for a unique educational experience — packaged in an entertaining format, said owner Ray Weaver.
What’s interesting about this concept is that a new puzzle is developed every three to six months, so guests may never experience the same adventure twice.
The current puzzle is the Sorcerer’s Study where guests must complete a series of puzzling task to retrieve a magical wand. This room is available until December 3.
Weaver will unveil the newest adventure, Escape the Abominable Snowman, during the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Additional information about Escape Ithaca can be found at http://www.escapeithaca.com.
Darlene M. Donohue
Downtown Ithaca Alliance
Cayuga Coins owner Bob Lisk, left, and his assistant Frank Anderson are ready to serve you at the recently opened coin and stamp sales shop is located in the Dewitt Mall.
Green Street & Seneca Street garages now offer designated parking for patrons
Locating customer parking in downtown garages has now become a little easier for folks who want to spend a couple of hours shopping or dining downtown, thanks to a new parking feature introduced by the city earlier this month.
The City of Ithaca recently introduced the Shopper Zone, short-term parking spaces designated just for consumers, They are now available in the Green Street and Seneca Street parking garages. Consumers will be able to use a spot in these garage’s Shopper Zone for a maximum of three (3) hours per day.
Green Street Garage, located at 120-126 E. Green St., is a prime location for shoppers who want to visit The Ithaca Commons, downtown’s four-block pedestrian mall of unique shops and boutiques, and the Dewitt Mall, a series of unique specialty shops, cafes and galleries, located at 215 N. Cayuga St.
Seneca Street Garage, 215 N. Tioga St., is also participating in the Shopper Zone program and will have the zone available between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, parking is exclusive to hotel guests.
The Cayuga Street Garage, 235 S. Cayuga St., already reserves its entire second floor for short duration shoppers and diners.
“We asked the City to be certain there could always be spaces available for consumers – the very important people who come downtown for shopping, dining, services, and entertainment,” said Downtown Ithaca Alliance Executive Director Gary Ferguson. “The Shopper Zones is an effort to do just that – reserve spaces in all downtown garages for short-duration parking. Our thanks goes out to Frank Nagy and the City for making this happen.”
Metered on-street parking is also available throughout the downtown area.
The DIA also reminds shoppers and diners that on-street parking downtown is free after 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and free all day on Saturday and Sunday.
Parking in the garages is free on Saturdays and Sundays except when special event parking rates apply. Parking is also free during the week from 8:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m., Monday through Friday.
For additional downtown parking information, visit the new parking web site at https://parkithaca.com, or call the City of Ithaca Parking Division at (607) 274-6532.
The holiday shopping season is upon us, and the Downtown Ithaca Alliance reminds residents and visitors that downtown Ithaca is home to more than 100 independent locally owned stores and businesses that offer many special gift-worthy items. The organization also encourages shoppers to participate in upcoming special holiday shopping events that are aimed to recognize the local retailers.
Small Business Saturday is Saturday, Nov. 26. This special day for locally owned and operated retail shops, provides an opportunity for patrons to demonstrate their support for local businesses and the community. On Small Business Saturday, many shops may offer special deals and some stores will be distributing “Shop Small” canvas bags to their customers. Founded by American Express six years ago, Small Business Saturday has grown into a powerful movement with more people taking part every year.
To further encourage consumers to shop local on Small Business Saturday, Downtown Ithaca is conducting a #shopsmall selfie contest online. When you shop on Small Business Saturday, snap a selfie and use the hashtags #shopsmall and #downtownithaca on Facebook or Instagram. A prize will be awarded to one winner, and their selfie reposted on Downtown Ithaca’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. Look for additional contest details and rules on Downtown Ithaca’s Facebook Events Page.
In downtown Ithaca’s stores throughout the holiday shopping season, consumers will find a variety of gift options including handcrafted items made by skilled artisans along with quality products from U.S. companies.
The Ithaca Commons, a two-block pedestrian shopping mall, boasts nearly two dozen specialty shops. Many additional stores that each sell unique and thoughtful gifts are located within walking distance of the Commons. Make sure to check out the retailers at the Dewitt Mall, Pressbay Alley, and on East and West State streets.
Downtown Ithaca also offers more than 50 dining choices where visitors may stop for a delicious meal anytime during their holiday shopping excursion.
“When money is spent at independent locally owned businesses, the money stays here and strengthens the economic base of where we live. Plus, patrons should support these one-of-a-kind businesses because they contribute to the character of our community with exclusive shopping and dining options,” said DIA Executive Director Gary Ferguson.
Last year, more consumers reported visiting their local independent businesses on Small Business Saturday than ever before, according to results from the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, released by the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express. More than 95 million consumers shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, marking an eight percent increase from 2014.
For more information, visit shopsmall.com, or call the DIA at (607) 277-8679 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To continue the holiday shopping spirit past the traditionally busy shopping weekend, Downtown Ithaca will host “Cider” Monday. This tongue in cheek, brick and mortar alternative to Cyber Monday will provide downtown consumers with an opportunity to sample ciders while they shop. Downtown businesses will be welcoming in shoppers with complimentary cups of cider, and some great Finger Lakes ciders will be hosting tastings downtown, too.
Additional details, including cider tasting locations, are available at the Downtown Ithaca Facebook Events Page.