SAFETY HARBOR — Downtown merchants said they were excited a year and a half ago when the Jolley Trolley came to town, expecting an increase in foot traffic.
But has the trolley service helped Safety Harbor’s businesses?
One concern raised by city commissioners and business owners: Trolley riders aren’t coming to Safety Harbor because they don’t realize the city has its fair share of restaurants and shops. According to City Manager Matt Spoor, only one downtown business owner currently advertises on the Jolley Trolley.
A newly formed merchants group hopes to see that change: Merchants of Safety Harbor has pledged to spend $6,250 on advertising in the next year.
“There was definitely energy that brought the merchants together at first,” said Mercedes Ofalt, chairperson of the merchant board. “I think one of the huge downfalls is the energy didn’t stay up. We didn’t really continue to advertise on it.”