Last December, the trolley operated for the first time with great success, and this year it’s back and expected to be an even bigger hit, said Kyle Bennett, Woodstock director of tourism and visitors center operations.
“Last year when we ran it, it was wildly popular. We had a lot more people ride it than we anticipated last year,” Bennett said. “We had a lot of families that just rode the trolley for fun.”
Gina Slechta, vice president of marketing for Horizon Group Properties and spokeswoman for the Outlet Shoppes of Atlanta, said visitors can have the best of both worlds with the trolley this December.
“We are looking forward to this partnership with Woodstock,” Slechta said. “We feel that visitors that come to the community see Woodstock as a fabulous day trip and they can have the best of both worlds. They can experience shopping in top favorite name brand stores and the charm of downtown Woodstock.”
Bennett said linking the outlet mall with the downtown area will allow visitors to travel between the two places without having to find parking twice.
“If you’re not familiar with downtown, you may not be willing to get into your car and drive down there, but if you could just hop on a trolley and ride down and know you could catch the trolley right back to the outlet mall, it might make it more appealing,” Bennett said. “That’s the overall goal, to encourage people to take advantage of all the public parking options we have downtown and to link the outlet mall and downtown Woodstock.”
Riding the trolley is free, and it seats about 20 to 25 people, Bennett said. It’s a great way to see the downtown area, and check out the new outlet mall, Bennett said.
“A lot of kids have never been on anything like an old-fashion trolley before, so we had a lot of families that would just make the loop one or two times just because their kids enjoyed riding it,” Bennett said. “It definitely makes it a lot easier for people to shop and dine. It makes it more pedestrian friendly.”
Each trolley stop will be marked with a big “sandwich-board signs that say ‘Downtown Woodstock Trolley stop,’” Bennett said. Depending on traffic, Bennett said the trolley will loop around to each stop about every 20 to 25 minutes.
“It does it fairly quickly; a lot of it depends on traffic,” Bennett said.
The trolley will run Dec. 6 to 22; Fridays from 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 10 p.m. The trolley will also operate Monday, Dec. 23, from noon to 10 p.m. and Tuesday, Dec. 24, from noon to 5 p.m.
The trolley is owned by the county, but Woodstock gets to use it almost free of charge, Bennett said.
“The county is nice enough to let us use the trolley again this December,” Bennett said. “All the expenses are paid for through the Downtown Development Authority. The county is basically letting us use it for free; the majority of our expenses is stuff like paying the driver and items like that, it’s not too much to operate it for a few weeks.”
The trolley stops at public parking lots around downtown, near downtown restaurants and stores and at the Outlet Shoppes of Atlanta.
Downtown Woodstock Trolley stops include The City Center public parking lot; Woodstock West and Market Street public parking; the intersection of Mill and Main streets; the intersection of Hubbard and Chambers streets; Chambers Street next to the park; the intersection of Wheeler and East Main streets; East Main Street next to the Park at City Center; Chattahoochee Tech public parking lot; Main Street next to Ipp’s Pastaria; and at the Outlet Shoppes of Atlanta.