Coliseum Central Embraces A New Age of Shoppers
Hampton Roads Transit’s vision is to be a valued regional partner that drives prosperity and makes life better for our community. We are always looking for ways to improve our transit services so we can better serve the public. Working closely with business leaders in the community is one way we do this.
This month, Connect Hampton Roads checks in with a business leader who has spent 25+ years watching the economy’s effect on retailers, hoteliers and car dealers in Hampton.
Meet Raymond Tripp, Executive Director of the Coliseum Central Business Improvement District.
CHR: How is business different now and what changes have been implemented since January 2015 when you became Executive Director?
Raymond: The internet has changed the way today’s consumers shop. Constant connectivity, use of social media for contextual relevance, and a digitally advanced world are changing both retail and hospitality industries. Today’s customer see no difference, whether it’s searching on a laptop, browsing main street shops or hanging out at the mall — it’s all shopping.
As digital technology weaves itself deeper into the fabric of our lives, smart retailers understand making the most of new opportunities is not about gadgets or technology. It’s about human nature. Giving the customer what they want.
Coliseum Central has embraced this move to digital technology by creating a new website for our district. This website will be the digital information center for all the businesses in our district. Everything you want to know about Coliseum Central can be found within the pages of our website, www.coliseumcentral.com.
Also, as we embrace this new age of shoppers, we understand the need for more pedestrian friendly streets. Since 2015, we have worked with the city to make connection of all our sidewalks which allow an individual to walk safely through our district. We also found a large number of employees use public transit to get to work and many national retailers are concerned about access to public transit for their employees. Therefore, we have worked with HRT to build four new bus shelters and added 14 benches for those stops with high ridership.
CHR: With the growth of Coliseum Central, have traffic patterns or parking become an issue for businesses, residents and visitors?
Raymond: With continued growth of our district we have found many of our main streets have become congested, especially during key times of the day, which concerns our retailers, businesses and visitors. Coliseum Central understands the need for a good public transit system with more reliable and efficient routes. Routes that are easier to use and serve desired destinations which will encourage increased ridership.
CHR: You have shown continued support of multimodal transportation options for Hampton Roads. How do you see transit in the future for both the Peninsula and the entire region? What benefits will this have on Coliseum Central?
Raymond: I see multimodal transportation as an effective way to connect people and places and supporting thriving communities across our region. Efficient transportation is important for a business district which wants to be competitive in the future. A good transportation system benefits businesses and creates an environment where people will want to work, play and live.