Jul 132011

Published by: Delaware Wave

BETHANY BEACH — The Marketplace at Sea Colony is more than a shopping center — it’s a summertime destination that offers family-friendly entertainment.

“It’s a place where families can come have some food, do some shopping and hang out,” marketing coordinator Tim Fisher said, noting there’s plenty of free parking.

The Marketplace has always offered a variety of shops and restaurants, but this year Fisher said steps were taken to entertain visitors and boost business.

“We decided to step up our game,” he said.

In addition to children’s arts and crafts and live music, visitors can now take advantage of a mid-week farmers market, held every Wednesday from 8 a.m.-noon.

“It’s another outlet for local growers to get their produce out there,” Fisher said.

Ron Drosdzal, owner of Armand’s Chicago Pizzeria, said the new activities have proven popular.

“The goal is create a family environment, and I think it does,” he said.

Kathy Ball, owner of Cattails, has occupied space in the shopping center for a little more than three years and said the new events have been great for her business.

“It’s amazing the business we did last week,” she said. “On our commercial we say it’s a place to eat, shop and play. Kids can play while their parents shop, have dinner and buy a house all in one location.”

For those looking to meet new people or learn more about the area, Tweetup Meetup on Tuesday mornings is the place to be.

“It’s a casual gathering where locals can network with visitors and get some local knowledge about the area,” Fisher said. “It can be something like restaurant suggestions; it’s always nice to share and grab a coffee from Bishop’s.”

Fisher said the Marketplace is great because it’s not your typical shopping center.

“There’s a dancing foundation for kids to hang out in while their parents enjoy the new wooden adirondack chairs,” he said. “It’s a great place to congregate, relax and catch some music.”

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