Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 50
 
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

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Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors



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Iris Interiors


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Weather Forecast


Visitors’ Bureau Awarded Grant; Princeton Merchants Make Plans for Next Year

Dilshanie Perera

The members of the Princeton Merchants Association (PMA) looked ahead to events in 2010 during their last meeting of the year, which was held at the Nassau Inn on Tuesday. PMA President Travis Linderman emphasized the importance of joint marketing, as well as effective partnerships between merchants, residents, members of the University, and non-profit organizations.

Lori Rabon of the Princeton Regional Convention and Visitors’ Bureau (PRCVB) announced that the organization had recently received a state grant for $105,000 to go toward promoting the Princeton region as a destination.

Adam Perle of the Bureau and Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce explained that the monies would be used in a number of online efforts, as well as print and commuter rail campaigns. He encouraged the merchants to maximize their visibility on PRCVB’s website, visitprinceton.org, which sees 250,000 page views per year.

Mark Censits of CoolVines, who is also on the PMA Board of Directors, detailed the features of the organization’s website, which will be launched early next year. With “two major views,” the site will allow visitors to find events and search for goods and services that are provided in town, and also create a space for merchants to log in to connect to one another.

The PMA’s new logo will also be unveiled soon, Mr. Censits announced.

“We have seen great demand for a comprehensive community calendar,” Mr. Linderman noted, pointing out that non-profit organizations could use such a tool to ensure their major events do not coincide, and also bring greater visibility to their happenings among the merchants.

“There are so many strong non-profits in town … this would provide the ability for us to partner with them,” Mr. Linderman said.

Non-profit leaders voiced their support for a comprehensive calendar. Explaining that the fundraising process is “very labor intensive, and we’d rather be serving kids’ needs, or clients’ needs,” Elizabeth Casparian of HiTOPS said that an overall schedule would make for more effective development efforts.

Executive Director of the Arts Council of Princeton Jeff Nathanson advocated utilizing available technologies, while CEO Kate Bech of the Princeton Family YMCA noted that such a site would “raise visibility regarding how generous the Princeton community is.”

Anita Fresolone of Palmer Square Management reported that with the opening of the new stores Lacrosse Unlimited and Rosana, there are no vacancies in Palmer Square.

Upcoming events in the new year include quarterly or bimonthly training sessions for merchants in subjects like social media or sales training, Princeton Pi Day on March 14, Communiversity on April 24, and a holiday classics movie festival at the Garden Theatre.

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