The Ardmore Main Street Authority was still feeling the buzz from the Wine Walk in the Depot District a week later in a board meeting Thursday.
Buzzed from its success, that is. Altogether, AMSA expensed about $1,274 into the event and collected $3,298, netting a profit of about $2,000.
“It was blood, sweat and tears on that one,” said AMSA General Manager Jeff Dimiceli. “It was hilarious from the beginning because we weren’t really sure what was going to happen and who was going to come.”
AMSA was hoping for around 25 people to attend the Wine Walk up until about two days prior to the event, Dimiceli said. Ticket sales were sluggish, then revved up right before the Wine Walk, resulting in about 100 attending the event.
Dimiceli said about 75 to 80 percent of attendees who attended the Wine Walk, from what he noticed, were people who don’t usually visit downtown, many of whom were relatively young.
Participants had to visit businesses on downtown Main Street to acquire wine-tasting tickets, which they could then turn in at the Depot District to sample different wines.
Business-owning board members expressed great appreciation of the high volume of visitors who were shocked by the development of downtown since they last visited. They also were willing to stay open an hour later for future wine walks, which was discussed as a possibility for future events.
Board member Marty Auten had high praise for the Wine Walk, saying he couldn’t “talk about it enough” after working one of the booths that night. Deviations of the Wine Walk, such as a “whiskey walk” featuring other types of alcoholic beverages to attract different demographics, was also on the table.
“I think that there’s an opportunity to broaden that crowd further,” Auten said. “Because there’s a crowd that doesn’t drink wine.”
Woods and Waters Winery of Anadarko and Blue River Valley Winery of Caddo had excellent nights from a business standpoint, according to Dimiceli. Woods and Waters ended up selling out of all the wine for sale they brought, and though Blue River Valley brought significantly more product, Dimiceli said they had a great night, too.
Ardmore is likely to see another Wine Walk, according to the sentiments expressed by AMSA board members, and perhaps more than once a year, according to AMSA chairman Todd Yeager.
Dimiceli said the inaugural event was successful in that in avoided devolving into a “drunk fest,” and that local businesses got time in the limelight.
“Nobody really wanted to sign up with us this year because we weren’t a proven thing. They thought two hours wasn’t worth their time, because most of these things are four hours long, so we may want to expand a little bit,” Dimiceli said. “The bottom line for this event was to get people into the stores, and I think it was successful.”