Save the Dayton Arcade

Downtown Dayton's Arcade will be open for FREE tours during Urban Nights on Friday, September 14th. Urban Nights runs from 5pm - 10pm. These tours will be used to promote awareness of the Arcade's current predicament and with the intention of raising money to pay taxes owed through donations and the sale of buttons, bookmarks, and calendars. The tax lien of $318,600.00 must be paid by November 19, 2007, as reported by the Dayton Daily News on July 27th, 2007. Please take advantage of this opportunity to support the Dayton Arcade. It may be you last chance to see what has been one of the most amazing features of Downtown Dayton.

Save the Dayton Arcade

The Dayton Arcade was a vital place in the early 1980's after a long struggle to renovate the facility. I performed there at Christmastime with my high school choir on numerous occasions and frequently enjoyed lunches from the food court and other establishments located in the Arcade. I had my first ever taste of Chinese food from The Mandarin Kitchen, which still does business in downtown Dayton. For a time, there was a wonderful Coca-Cola museum of sorts where you could get genuine cherry and/or vanilla flavored Coke from a fountain... and this was years before Coca-Cola began bottling these flavored versions of Coke. There was a hot dog stand where you could build your own dog with a salad-bar's worth of tasty toppings and interesting ingredients, and there was so much more.

I find it absurd that the Dayton Arcade doesn't have investors knocking down their doors. When 'town center' malls are the biggest thing to happen to shopping since malls were invented, the Dayton Arcade and surrounding area is a perfect, pre-existing location. Local examples of 'town center' malls are the recent expansion at the Dayton Mall, The Greene, and Easton Towne Center. Other plans for similar facilities have been discussed for many nearby locations like Englewood and as a replacement for the space that used to be the Salem Mall.

Downtown Dayton IS a town center and would gain a wonderful boost by working to re-open the Arcade. Town center shopping malls generally have similar features, one of which is an outdoor open space with a fountain. Courthouse Square and it's fountain is immediately across the street from the main entrance to the Arcade. It's a near perfect set-up. The one thing downtown doesn't have that the other locations have is an abundance of free parking, which is a problem. Perhaps Arcade merchants could supply customers with parking vouchers at the point of sale or some other scheme, but many people will already be parked due to their working arrangements, so this discussion is best saved for another time.

The Arcade would be a great supplement to the Shuster Center, the ballpark, the downtown housing boom, Tech Town, and all the other projects currently being discussed for the Dayton area. If I won the lottery I'd buy the place myself.

Help save the Dayton Arcade!

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