FLINT (WJRT) -
(05/06/14) - Business owners in downtown Flint say they feel betrayed because the Back to the Bricks Friday night concert is being moved to Grand Blanc.
They feel they're missing an opportunity to show off the big improvements that have been made.
For years, a free concert has been held on Saginaw Street during Back to the Bricks week - but it's moving to Grand Blanc, and that's not sitting well with some.
"I feel like it's not Back to the Bricks anymore. There are no bricks in Grand Blanc," said Patti Bergstrom, Blackstone's manager.
That's the way a lot of business people feel now that the Friday night concert is moving to the site of the former GM Weld Tool Center. Flash Cadillac will be the headliner.
"It's a huge concern for us. It's called Back to the Bricks for a reason, we thought. I don't think it's necessarily in the best interest of downtown," said Nadine Cook, of Churchill's.
Back to the Bricks people say the downtown Flint site was too crowded, but that's not flying with some.
"They're saying because they outgrew the venue. I don't know if that's necessarily true," Cook said.
"It's something everybody looks forward to. People come from all around to be here. It does generate a lot of business for us, but besides that, it's a fun time for everybody," Bergstrom said.
Back to the Bricks chairman Al Hatch says the event benefits several businesses in Genesee County, not just downtown. He feel downtown business owners are over-reacting to the change, but the business people say the move is taking away a golden opportunity.
"So, it's not just the events themselves, but the exposure downtown business got that equals business all throughout the year," said Robb Klaty, of the Flint Crepe Company and Table and Tap.
It costs the Back to the Bricks organization about $100,000 to provide security for the week long event, but they've had a hard time getting downtown Flint businesses to contribute to those expenses.