CAN nightlife Save main street?

A popular misconception is that the dining and entertainment industry will fill the gaps in Main Street But is retail really dying or is it being reinvented? And are more hospitality businesses really the key to a more vibrant downtown?

Trends show that for retailers to survive, they have to be local, experiential and high-end—marking a transition from services over goods. In the age when consumers can have any product at the click of the button, they need motivation to get out of the house. Traditional retail storefronts are responding—with custom clothes fittings, clubs for enthusiasts, events, educational workshops and fun selfie opportunities. See London Nighttime Commission Report.

Three leading thought leaders and experts on retail and main street revitalization will share their experiences.

Retailers that didn’t pivot to new market demands leave behind gaping holes in main streets. And cafes, restaurants and nightclubs are ready to fill them. But as a main street becomes populated with more and more hospitality uses, what is lost in the main street experience? Is nightlife truly the savior of main street?


  • Retail survival strategies for Main Street and High Street
  • Preserving main street as a community social space
  • Dynamic between nightlife and retail - what works at night


Managing Principal
Retail Development Strategies LLC

Tom Moriarity Tom has a background in urban mixed-use development, commercial area management, downtown revitalization strategies, retail programming and historic preservation. He manages design and development planning studies for large-scale urban mixed-use projects, urban entertainment/retail projects, commercial and historic districts, and commercial development analysis.  He is one of four individuals credited with the development of the Main Street Model adopted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and served as the founding executive director of the National Main Street Center.

Member, London Nighttime Commission
Co-creator, Purple Flag and Nightworks


Paul Davies is an architect, planner and co-creator of Nightworks and Purple Flag and Consultant to RHI's Global City Project. He is a leader in developing the concept of diversification in the leisure and night-time economy. He is the author of Nightworks’ Prospectus and the guidelines and toolkit for the diversification. Prior to Nightworks and since the early 2000s he focused on the research, development and roll-out of the Purple Flag accreditation scheme; initially at the former Civic Trust and later as consultant to the Association of Town and City Management. This included the expansion of the scheme into Ireland (north and south), Sweden and Canada.

Senior Consultant
Responsible Hospitality Institute

Marjorie Ferrer was Executive Director of the Delray Beach, Florida Downtown Development Authority for 22 years and is an expert in revitalizing main streets. She helped transform a main street that was perceived as “dark, dirty and dangerous” into a booming destination for dining, entertainment and high-end shopping.

Marjorie serves as a senior consultant with RHI as well as her own consultancy assisting towns and cities build a retail economy.




RHI is a nonprofit organization founded in 1983 with a mission to assist
businesses and communities to plan safe and vibrant places to socialize.

©2018 Responsible Hospitality Institute