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      New Year's Eve Big Bash success just the beginning for downtown Albany

      Downtown Manager Aaron Blair says to expect more small businesses, more retail and more foot traffic in downtown Albany in 2011

      At their first meeting of 2011, Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority board members discussed the success of the New Year's Eve Big Bash and how it can help grow downtown Albany.

      Board members say the New Year's celebration was a great success, noting that the downtown bars and party locations were packed. ADICA Board Member and Co-owner of Cafà 230 BJ Fletcher says, "If you weren't downtown, you weren't anywhere!"

      ADICA members say they want to grow the New Year's Eve Big Bash into an annual event. They say they hope they can keep growing events like this and people will start to come back to downtown Albany.

      Downtown Manager Aaron Blair says the New Year's Eve parties were a great kickoff for things to come for the area.

      "We're just going to see a lot of progression as far as helping the small business owner, a lot of heavy marketing on downtown, on the events we have downtown and we're just going to start to see people come back downtown. We're going to see that over the next year," says Blair.

      Blair says the new opportunity zone will be a "retail incubator" and help rent out areas in downtown.

      He also says they have selected a website designer and a new downtown website should be up and running by March.

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