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New potential concert location raises concerns for one Market Street location

BY: Rikki Cason | November 17, 2012

The announcement last month the Labatt Canal Concert Series would not be held at the Ulrich City Center next year, is not a positive change for one Lockport business owner.

Mike Murphy, owner of the Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises, approached the Common Council Wednesday about the negative impact the switch in location to city owned property between East Avenue and Chestnut Street would have on his business.

He said Fridays in the summer he holds parties and weddings at his 210 Market St. business, and in year’s past there has been a lot of loud traffic and music during the events when the concerts were held at the Ulrich City Centre.

Now, moving it closer, Murphy worried in the middle of “Here Comes the Bride” or when a couple was saying “I do,” it would not be heard over the loud music and additional traffic.

He also had concerns his parking would be limited because more concertgoers would park by his business and walk up to the concert.

Mayor Michael Tucker said he would work with Murphy to make sure a parking area is reserved for people going to his business. He said they currently do that for businesses on Main Street.

The noise, however, could not be prevented.

“The parking, traffic, people and noise is affecting my business,” said Murphy. “It’s going to hurt us more than help us.”

He said he doesn’t really see a benefit to the concerts because people come into the area for it, then they leave. Not staying to take advantage of what all is in Lockport.

Murphy also expressed concerns with blocking off Locust Street for the concerts. He felt out of town people would have a difficult time navigating the streets to find his business if the direct route was closed.

Tucker ensured people could find their way, especially with a navigation system.

The move from the Ulrich City Centre to the possible new location comes because several tenants in the City Centre area have complained about the loss of parking on Fridays, which affects their business.

Music begins at 5:30 p.m., but set up of the stage, bathroom area and vending area starts earlier in the day.

The area behind the Lockport Public Library and the Lockport Family YMCA is one of the only areas big enough in the downtown area to house the concert.

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