CORNER BROOK — The move to the city hall parking lot for the East Meets West Expo will be a one-time experiment, according to Corner Brook's chief administrative officer.
It was an experiment which failed in some ways, admits Mike Dolter.
"I don't think it was a mistake," said Dolter Monday.
"I think it was something we did to address some issues that were brought forward to us. In fact, when we did it, I knew it probably wouldn't be as good as out on the road."
The issues previously identified by deputy mayor Donna Luther were that some businesses were not happy with the set up — that it placed the backs of tents to the exterior of some businesses and the street closure made it difficult to access some places. On Monday Dolter said it was also to accommodate the road race.
"This year we did what we thought was best," he said.
"There's people saying it wasn't as good, and I'm not disagreeing it wasn't as good. In fact, I would definitely agree, being on the street is better."
He said the expo's activities will return to West Street next year unless there is some extraordinary, unforseen circumstances. The city will meet with the business community, and encourage the public to submit comments and feedback, over the next several weeks.
The committee has to look at why there was a decrease in vendors this year, according to Dolter, and attempt to bring in a wider variety and total.
He also said there were some gaps in music and entertainment throughout the multi-day event, that need to be rectified next year.
The laser show was cancelled because of its high cost, but Dolter said it left a hole in the expo.
"The laser show used to close the evening off with a bang, so we are going to have to look at that," he said.
"What big thing can we bring in, that is affordable but still has a big punch to it. That is what our challenge will be."
It wasn't all negative, according to Dolter. The weather was great and the crowds were good. He said the buskers were again a big attraction.
"Given we made a change with fairly short notice, and moved off the road, I think things went fairly well," he said. "That's not saying there's things we have to make changes for next year, and make some improvements.
"I think that's what the event is about making changes every year."
Dolter said people from the community will be encouraged to sit on the committee for the event, and help with the planning.