Fenwick committee discusses flags, event

It was a light agenda for the Fenwick Island Commercial Liaison Committee (CLC) at their Dec. 15 meeting.

Town Council Member and CLC Chairman Chris Clark unveiled a series of rough sketches that could be the basis of designs for flags the town is considering displaying on Coastal Highway.

The sketches were done by his wife, Jessica, and depicted a variety of designs suggested by members of the town’s Beautification Committee in previous discussion of the flag idea.

Committee members Reid Tingle and Pamela McComas (of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce) both pointed to a design depicting the town’s historic lighthouse and that of a fashionable flip-flop as their favorites among the designs Clark presented.

The tentative plan for the flags is to have at least three of them displayed on utility poles, rotated on a seasonal basis and supplemented by the town’s holiday decorations during the winter.

Clark noted that he’d received some complaints from Fenwick Island residents that the flag initiative was just to benefit the town’s business community.

“I thought it was just a way to let people know you’re in Fenwick Island,” Clark said of the concept.

Clark said his next step was to do some research on getting the flags fabricated, including information on vendors, cost, durability and construction methods.

The Beautification Committee is due to take up the subject of the flags and the designs again in January and move the project forward from there.

Clark said a joint effort between his business, iLand Art Gallery (just outside the town’s incorporated area), Blue Heron Gifts and Pottery Place to bring in customers for the traditional day-after-Thanksgiving shopping day deemed “Black Friday” had gone well.

After only modest participation by other merchants in previous years, the three businesses had elected to condense their efforts to their own shops in 2005, with success.

Clark reported that Blue Heron owner Carol Hughes had deemed the Black Friday event “a huge success,” noting the store had seen sales increase by more than $100 in the three hours it was open that day.

Clark himself said iLand’s business had increased four times over sales on that day in 2004. He allowed that Pottery Place had actually seen a slight decrease from 2004, but suggested that given another year, the benefits of the annual event would increase.

One of the goals for the 2005 Black Friday event for the three businesses was to demonstrate how well it could draw customers, in anticipation that other merchants would be encouraged by their success and decide to go the extra mile to participate in 2006.

“Next year, others can get in and that will make it much bigger,” Clark said.