The Thin Line festival is bringing more than music and documentary films to Denton this weekend. It is also bringing money to local businesses.
Many of the venues featuring Thin Line events are near the downtown Square, which creates more foot traffic in the area, and nice weather anticipated through the weekend should bring even more crowds to the area, said Julie Glover, economic development program administrator for the city of Denton.
Opening night drew a record-setting crowd to the festival, and this year’s expansion to include musical venues has added to the draw, officials said.
“They had a great opening night, so I hope that a lot of those people went and ate dinner downtown before they went, and that’s the whole thought process here — stop and get dinner or a drink or a bag of candy before they go,” she said.
Across the street from the Denton Municipal Electric Thin Line Tent where the opening night event was held is Oak Street Drafthouse and Cocktail Parlor, and owner John Williams said he has already noticed increased traffic.
“There’s definitely going to be an uptick in traffic, especially with the nice weather and the music and films right there,” Williams said. “Overall, I think the Thin Line film fest will help bring more business to the area.”
Oak Street and Williams’ other business, East Side Social Club, are featuring more food trucks throughout the weekend than normal to help bring them business as well.
Another bar, Mulberry Street Cantina, will be crafting drink specials every day for the rest of the festival for attendees with ticket stubs, lanyards or other proof they attended. Being positioned near parking lots and Hailey’s Club, one of the business owners, Spencer McFarling, said they expect to see more foot traffic.
“We want to help encourage that and reward people for taking part in the festival that way, and do whatever we can,” McFarling said.
They’ll be posting online about the specials and what else they notice around town to also help other businesses, he said. During the day, he’s a high school economics teacher and said he practices what he teaches his students at his business.
“I always talk about shop local and how it helps the local economy, and Denton is really awesome about that,” McFarling said. “We think it’s going to help the entire downtown area and the foot traffic will be awesome.”
Several other businesses are offering specials and discounts for Thin Line attendees throughout the weekend, like Recycled Books. They are offering 15 percent off all purchases and even advertised the promotion in the event’s schedule, manager Chris Garver said.
“The big tent is just down the street and the Square is the central location for the town, so I expect it will be busier,” he said.
Impressions by DSSLC, a store on Hickory Street that features handmade ceramics, is offering 10 percent off total purchases for attendees as well. Even on the first night of the festival, assistant manager Connie Lane said she noticed more people on the Square than on an average Wednesday night, and is optimistic for the weekend.
“I think it will probably bring in some extra people, especially since the weather is better,” Lane said.
At Jupiter House on the Square, owner Joey Hawkins said he and his staff are prepared for the expected increases of traffic.
“We scheduled a little heavier, and we think with the warm weather, we’re just going to kill it here,” he said. “We’re excited. It’s a great event.”
Some businesses are also being promoted indirectly through bloggers from the Denton Convention & Visitors Bureau, which will be posting to both DiscoverDenton.com and the Thin Line website throughout the festival, said Kim Phillips, vice president of the convention and visitors bureau. The bloggers will talk about their experiences with the festival overall, including where they eat and drink, Phillips said.
“I think it really does help put a visual in people’s minds of a bigger experience. While the film is the heart of it, there’s so much more to it,” she said. “You grab a glass of wine or go to dinner first, or plan a date night around it.”
With the increased traffic from locals and visitors, Phillips said she is sure the festival will bring in more business than usual this weekend.
“You’re going to have a snack, or a dessert, or you’re going to stay in a hotel room if you don’t live here,” she said. “All of those things mean economic impact on our city beyond the usual activity that takes place, and we definitely feel that.”
JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.