Street Ambassadors Support Welcoming Environment Downtown

This holiday season the Burlington Business Association, in close collaboration with the Church Street Marketplace has created the street ambassador team. Recognized by their bright yellow jackets from Chocolate Thunder Security, the ambassadors will be present downtown this holiday season, working to ensure visitors have an inviting, informed and safe visit to Burlington

“It’s a simple but effective concept that’s been used in Portland, Boulder and other vibrant cities. We are thrilled to have it here on the streets of Burlington,” said Kelly Devine, Executive Director of the Burlington Business Association. “This program is an important and necessary service for downtown. So far the feedback has been very positive.”

The street ambassador team debut on Wednesday and will continue until December 24th, serving as a welcoming presence for visitors, providing information, directions and recommendations as needed. Ambassadors are available to provide information about local events, important phone numbers if visitors have issues, as well as information about recent parking promotions – 4-hours free parking at the municipal garages next to Hotel Vermont and the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, $3 free at all meters with the Park Mobile app and a promo code, and free parking on evenings and weekends at 52 Elmwood Ave.

“There’s always so much going on in Burlington and having a welcoming, informed presence on the street to help orient our many holiday visitors just makes a lot of sense,” said Ron Redmond, Executive Director of the Church Street Marketplace.

The ambassadors will be available within an area between Maple Street and Pearl Street (south to north) and from Battery Street to South Winooski Avenue (west to east) during the following times up until December 24: Wednesday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Thursday & Friday 2 – 8 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

“Sometimes just a welcoming smile is all it takes to make someone feel comfortable in a foreign environment,” said Mickey Van Gulden, owner of Chocolate Thunder Security, a local firm responsible for hiring the ambassadors.  “I’ve stopped into pretty much every business within our area to tell them who we are and what we’re doing. All the businesses so far have been very appreciative and encouraging.”