Results are in for Ocean Grove’s outdoor dining trial

February 18, 2021 BY

A survey into the outdoor dining trial has found 61 per cent of traders based in The Terrace are calling for the program to be extended.

AN INTERIM survey has revealed the outdoor dining initiative is a success despite previous concerns from local vendors.

The survey shows almost two-thirds of Ocean Grove business owners located in The Terrace have expressed their support for the al fresco-styled initiative implemented by the city.

More than 60 per cent of traders stated the expanded dining option had increased activity in the area opening up greater opportunities for business.

A total of 49 business operators contributed to the survey with 65 per cent stating they have had a positive experience, while 25 per cent were opposed to the parklets.

It was previously reported that some local traders held concerns over the trial citing a reduced walking space for pedestrians was deterring potential customers.

Last year the city accessed support from the Victorian Government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package following a statewide commitment to prioritising outdoor activities.

The initiative came about under tougher restrictions that saw both capacity and time limits placed on venues.

During the inception of the trial period, the city waived all outdoor dining fees and offered outdoor furniture, greenery and additional footpath space to encourage more customers throughout the prominent hospitality precincts.

Up to 97 open-air seats were added to The Terrace in line with the city’s ongoing social and economic recovery plan.

During the survey the city engaged with up to 163 members of the general public, including residents and visitors, to gauge their opinion on the trial.

Similarly, the community’s feedback showed 77 per cent of survey participants were in favour of the outdoor dining extension, while eight per cent were neutral.

Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher was pleased with the large number of traders, local residents and visitors who provided feedback and thanked them for their response.

“The findings will help us evaluate the initiative and determine any future use of the parklets and expanded dining areas in The Terrace precinct,” she said.

“After careful consideration, we’ll decide the best way forward and then share that directly with traders and survey respondents.”

The survey found 61 per cent of traders were calling for the three-month trial to be extended which the city says it will reflect on when determining if the trial will continue past March 8 this year.

The city is currently asking the public for its feedback on a potential extension of the al fresco areas in multiple precincts including Pakington, Union and Yarra streets.

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