Vintage car owners seem to want less cruising and more chances to show off their vehicles, so Elmhurst City Centre is tweaking for 2012. The city's Public Affairs and Safety Committee Monday gave first approval to the plan for the summer event, which runs from June through August and centers around First Street and Addison Avenue.
City Centre Executive Director Tom Paravola told the committee the hours will shift to 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays to reflect the times participants are actually showing up and leaving. Previously, the hours were from 7 to 9 p.m. The event also will focus more on themed areas on Addison Avenue.
“People aren't cruising around the block the way they used to seven or eight years ago,” Paravola said.
Third Ward Alderman Michael Bram asked if businesses see a benefit from the crowds that come to view the cars. Paravola said it's a “mixed bag,” but businesses are not hurt by it. Restaurants and bars benefit the most, but some retail stores report more sales, too. The ones that do not still like the foot traffic, he said.
For restaurants, the Wednesday event is “like having an extra Friday night,” Mayor Pete DiCianni said.
First Ward Alderman Paula Pezza said complaints from residents have fallen off over the years, and Paravola acknowledged that most issues have been addressed.
Cool Cars begins June 6 with Dust-Off Night; all pre-1997 cars are welcome. Other nights will feature GM models, convertibles, pony cars and imports. The last night is Aug. 22, and there will be no event on July 4.
Approval for the event now goes to the full City Council.