Economic development official wants to create a buzz in Alvinston

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Ruth McCallum and John Lomax of the Alvinston Community Group pose with the Alvinston Bee – created by Murray Watson. Economic development officials are suggesting Alvinston try to use the roadside attraction in increase business in town.

An official with Sarnia Lambton Economic Partnership says Alvinston should capitalize on the buzz surrounding their giant bee.

The metal statue was commissioned by the Alvinston Community Group and created by Murray Watson. It has been standing at the entrance to the community for about a year now.

It’s also listed on a website called Roadside Attractions. David Moody, project leader for business growth services wants to see the community capitalize on it. “Due to the bee being listed under Alvinston, we’re right there on top of the website,” he told council recently.

And Moody says people are stopping to see the unnamed mascot. “What I’m hearing from the community…is people are stopping and others are coming just to see the be. The next step is to get them to stay for a while,” he says.

“If there is now a reason for people to stop and or a reason to come here, there could be lots of reasons for to attract the businesses here.”

Moody says the community has lots to offer including the arts community and the conservation area just outside of town. “If they are just seeing the bee, they may not be seeing what else is available.”

Moody wants to hold a community consultation meeting in September or October to capitalize on the bee. And he says it might be a good idea to hold a “Name the Bee” contest.

Council agreed to the suggestion. Councillor Jeannette Douglas says the community needs to educate the public on Alvinston.

“I worked for years in Petrolia and so many people didn’t know there was more to Alvinston than Nauvoo road. People from Windsor go to Grand Bend and they stop at Three Maples.”

Douglas says it would be great if by using the bee, more of the business could see some of that traffic at their door.

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