Open House not hurt by economy

Published 5:05 pm Monday, November 24, 2008

Many shoppers came out Sunday afternoon to enjoy a head start on purchasing Christmas gifts at the Holiday Open House.

A number of local business that would normally have been closed Sunday opened their doors as consumers made their way from shop to shop in search of the perfect present.

At many stores, employees worked furiously at check-out lines and to wrap presents for customers as they sampled appetizers and refreshments.

Inside Willis Park, Mary Barber Cox signed ornaments that featured her pen and ink drawing of the historic First Presbyterian Church that is located on the corner of Shotwell and Broad streets. Cox’s drawings have been featured ornaments for 18 years.

In the park, the Pilot Club of Bainbridge also sold poinsettias. The Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society sold T-shirts and pre-orders for Boston butts, and raffle tickets, which a bird feeder was won Matt Obsahl of Bainbridge.

At The Book Nook, Dr. Ed Mobley, former president of Bainbridge College, and Dr. Ray Chambers, retired Bainbridge College professor, signed copies of Bainbridge College 35 Years & Still Cooking, which they helped to co-author.

The recipes were donated by members of the college community—students, faculty and friends. Several recipes were there to be sampled. The money raised will go to the ambassador scholarship fund, which provides scholarships to students involved in medical-related fields.

Business owners said consumer turnout for the Holiday Open House was nearly as strong as past years.

“The turnout has been very good,” said Priscilla Whittaker owner of Polka Dots. “Lots of people are out and buying for Christmas.”

Sharon Jeter, owner of Sharon House Antiques and Interiors, said she was worried about the turnout being low due to the economy, but she didn’t see much change from previous years.

Many business owners said they have noticed a decrease in shopping this holiday season due to the economic downtown although business has begun to pick up as Christmas approaches.

Cindy Markham, co-owner of Kres Jewelers, said she has noticed an increase in business since the presidential election.

Max Crews, co-owner of Jen’s Apparel and Gifts, said business has been up and down, but it has steadily begun to pickup over the past week as the holiday approaches.