Would summer hours bring more cash flow?

It’s funny how I’ve noticed this since I moved here from the Seattle area. But it’s worth pointing out again. Matt Cutts (Google) recently visited my hometown for a conference. What he mentions of the place is something that the South has been slow to move on but in my opinion, could seriously create a boost in some of the sluggish progress.

The greens are much more plush in Seattle. Also, I look across the water to the west and see.. mountains? I’m used to seeing more water fading away to a boring horizon. Who decided to put some extra mountains over there? I like it. Lots and lots of water, too.

How is this similar? North Carolina has the seasons. But there is also a lot of green. Everywhere. Don’t lose out on this when there is commercial construction. Leave some of the green and water features to give it a nice feel so people want to be outside.

San Francisco is a walking city. Los Angeles is a driving city. But Seattle has elements of both. You can wander around Pike Place Market and buy comic books graphic novels, or drive over to West Seattle and enjoy Alki Beach. The combination is pretty neat.

There is no doubt that the South is a “driving” area. Sometimes, I swear there are more cars than people to drive them based on population and traffic. So what we’re missing is the “walking” areas. Don’t get me wrong, there are many little plots of areas that allow walking. Downtown Greensboro and Winston-Salem on 4th Street. I know there are many other areas that allow you to roam a bit. But for the most part, they’re confined. One single place. You can walk up and down Elm in a matter of an hour. And I’m not one to roam High Point downtown at night.

Parts of Seattle also seem to stay up late. In many parts of Silicon Valley, things start to shut down around 8 p.m. as people get to sleep early so that they can wake up and work hard. I was walking around downtown Seattle at midnight and quite a few places were still hopping.

This is something that has bugged me from the start (and apparently many others). I understand that this is also the area that used to have Blue Sundays. But come on people. It’s summer time! People are roaming around on the weekends and even weekday nights because it’s warm, and shops close at.. what… 6PM?!?!! This needs to change drastically. The fact that there is a disregard to potential sales is just amusing to me. Just a drive down at the Shops at Friendly this weekend just proved the point. The parking lot was packed for restaurants, but nothing was open except REI, Harris Teeter, and the theater. This is the same everywhere (excepts to superstores like Target and Walmart). Past 6PM, there is pretty much nothing but clubs, bars, the mall (which closes at 9 usually), superstores, pharmacies, and restaurants. Oh, and movie theaters. There’s not too much going on where one can walk around, browse, maybe buy a few trinkets. Why? I tell you what… the best idea is to take the one from Chinese restaurants. Did you know that in Seattle, these are one of the few restaurants pretty much open year round? I’ve been to lunch and dinner on national holidays because they were the only thing open. I suspect they also rake in some pretty good business on those days. On a similar scale, a warm summer’s night provides plenty of roaming people.
We really can do this. Cash in on the people that want to be outdoors at night. Brighten up the night life. Keep the cafes and outdoor seating bustling while people walk around and peek into windows to see that one summer dress they’ve been wanting and let them “go in and buy it.”
Maybe I’m out of my mind. But it’s worth trying, if groups such as GMA proposed longer summer hours.