Olympia’s Third Thursdays ending

VIDEO: Plan to get more people to visit Olympia in the middle of the week fizzling out

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Customers grab a cold beer and a bite to eat as they celebrate Thirsty Third Thursday at Three Magnet Brewing.

The downtown Olympia eatery has been involved in the citywide event for more than a year, but this is their final week.

"We saw some months where we felt great about it. We saw some months where we didn't have as many customers,” said Todd Cutts, Olympia Downtown Alliance executive director.

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The Olympia Downtown Alliance started Third Thursdays in May 2018.

The goal was to draw people in with promotions, live music, food and more, but it didn't quite catch on.

"I think it's a great thing to do and I'd like to participate more, I usually just don't have time,” said shopper Nancy Lloyd.

"I don't think they publicized it enough and the only way I knew about it was these little cards in the shops,” said shopper Karen Pyle.

Dean Jones owns Encore Chocolates and Teas. He's one of about two dozen downtown businesses that took part in the monthly event.

"It was the first time we tried something like this and I think one of the biggest challenges was always to get the information out. What is Third Thursdays? I think people had trouble understanding them,” he said.

His shop is doing well and Third Thursdays helped, but Jones said it can be a challenge to get people downtown.

"We have the challenge of internet sales of course, that's one of them,” he said.

"I think parking is a problem when it's busy,” said Lloyd.

"I think there's a lot of belief that there's a lot of homeless people around,” said Pyle.

Despite empty store fronts and the monthly event ending, Jones said his sweets shop isn't leaving Olympia any time soon.

"I just signed a 10-year lease on my building, so I'm very excited about it,” said Jones.

The Olympia Downtown Alliance said they’re planning events for 2020, including: