Manly’s Central Business District will be bombarded with activations of lights, art, music, street games, pop ups, food, storytelling and whatever else can grab our attention from 21 – 30 April.
Under the banner “Play Manly”, it is the first of many promised activities to be organised by a new local business alliance called Experience Manly.
A new alliance but with many familiar faces from across the local chamber, hospitality and transport.
Experience Manly is a community-led, non-profit organisation dedicated to revitalising the flagging tourist economy of Manly district thanks to the pandemic.
Launched 16 March at Manly Greenhouse on South Steyne, the coalition of local business operators, industry leaders, councillors, and state government members revealed plans and economic initiatives to rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic and La Niña extreme weather events that have adversely affected the peninsula.
The gathering was addressed by James Griffin, Member for Manly and Minister for Environment and Heritage, and four founding members of Experience Manly: Chairman Matt Clifton (Managing Director of MJC Group and Foralus Group, which operate a range of hospitality venues in the Manly area); Charlotte Rimmer (President of Manly Business Chamber and Managing Director of Aide De MD); Tracey Mietzke (Vice-President of Manly Business Chamber and Partnerships Manager at Athas Group); and Michael Betteridge, General Manager Tourism Development for NRMA.
At the launch, Matt Clifton declared, “Through collaborations and access to local, state and federal funding schemes, Experience Manly will aim for initiatives around tourism, the arts, culture, business and community support.
“As a not-for-profit local tourism organisation, we are eligible to access relevant state and federal funding programmes, allowing us to be a vehicle to support those initiatives going forward… Normal companies and organisations don’t find themselves eligible to enter some of those programmes at state and federal funding levels.”
Charlotte Rimmer added, “If we work together, we can make things work. The history of what we’ve done with Manly Business Chamber, our partnership with [Northern Beaches] council is so strong.. The history of what we’ve done with James Griffin also….
“So, as President of Manly Business Chamber our collaboration with Experience Manly is equally important. I’m really excited about the new initiatives and excited about what we can do in the future together.”
“As a business owner in the hospitality and events sector,” Matt Clifton added, “the past two years have been incredibly challenging in an area that strongly relies on foot traffic and tourism, both domestic and international.
“I envision that as an independent body, Experience Manly will be able to support businesses, influence positive change and boost the Manly tourism economy for the better as we transition out of COVID-19 to ensure as a collective, we rebound stronger than ever before.”
As referenced in the intro, the first event sponsored by Experience Manly will be Play Manly, a 10-day event from Thursday 21 to Saturday 30 April showcasing arts, games, food and music concerts via 13 ‘activations’, including historic walks, brewery tasting and light shows.
Businesses wishing to participate in Play Manly can visit this link: