top of page

Summary of Survey on Retail Development

May we hear a drum roll please! Below is a summary of responses we received back from the Downtown Colonial Beach Survey of Retail Preferences. One of the most successful ways of generating new retail development is by encouraging local entrepreneurs to start up new businesses--these survey results may give you ideas. Downtown Colonial Beach will be partnering with the University of Mary Washington Center for Economic Development and Small Business Development Center over the next 90 days on retail recruitment. Some of that will involve encouraging local entrepreneurship. If interested, email or so we can connect you with relevant help and information. In the meantime, if you go to, there is an entire on-line training course on starting your own business. Here's are the survey results.

Where there is a number next to the item, it means several people have proposed that type of business:


Retail Targeted to Residents and Community Needs

Florist, Basic Apparel store Learning/tutoring centers for various ages Office supplies, computer repair and other business services center (copying & printing), mailing (UPS/Fed Ex), possibly sign making - 5 Shoe repair shop Laundromat - 2 Dry cleaners Doctor’s and Dentists’ Offices Barber shop Shared office space Spa

Retail Targeted to Both Tourist Trade and Local Residents

More restaurants – 12 • Mexican - 6 • Seafood • Southern Cuisine • Italian • Fast food, especially on the beach (hamburgers, hotdogs, fries, shakes) • Cheese/sandwich shop/sub shop - 2 • Indian • Vegetarian, gluten-free, or other healthy options. • Small eateries • Another gourmet restaurant Food-related Shops • Bakery – 5 • Seafood market • Health food store • Candy shop with old-fashion candies, jelly beans, pop-corn/cotton candy shop, etc. - 2 • Ice cream parlor, and Ice cream parlor/candy shop • Farmer’s Market –permanent • Cheese/Wine/ Gourmet Shop • Butcher Retail Shops • Hands on arts & crafts/workshops/supplies – 2 • Sports shoe and fitness clothing store • An Outdoors Shop – nature, trails books, fashionable hiking, walking biking wear, hats, nature artwork, jewelry, carvings and sculptures • Bird seed/product shop • Furniture makers/wood shop/classes • Bridal planning/party shop • Interior decorator/wallpaper shop • Artisan/ Home Décor • Garden/[plant] nursery/outdoor furniture [shop] • Northern Neck/Colonial Beach-centric gift/clothing shop like the one in Warsaw (Colonial Collectables) • Used Book Store/ Bookstore with WIFI and coffee – 2 • Interactive artist studios, e.g. potters, glass blowers, sculptures, jewelry makers, etc. • History/nature related specialty store • Connection to motorsports –Play up the motor-culture aspect of Colonial Beach, car, motorcycle, golf cart interest, classic cars, “cruising,” connect to racetrack outside town. • Spa – massage, facials, manicures Clothing stores • Shoe store • Children’s clothing store • Boutique women’s clothing and jewelry with a Northern Neck vibe • Mid-price range clothing store • Unique women’s clothing store Entertainment Retail • Wine bar • Bingo/events hall • Waterpark • Golf course • Virtual arcade facility for kids, Pool tables/retro arcade games/on the Boardwalk - 3 • Bike share (bike rental stations… to set-up stations downtown for residents and visitors), create jobs for town residents… it requires someone to maintain the bikes year-round.” • Sports bar • Charter fishing/Boat ride charter -3 • Boat/Jet Ski rentals • Mini-aquarium • Wildlife center (esp. birds) with some kind of hands-on aspect • Workboat, Watermen life immersion experience: “More than you ever wanted to know” about oysters – education • Movie theatre • Bowling Alley

Miscellaneous Hotel and conference center

Some Interesting Business Ideas

Tunic shop (Totally Tunics) Loungewear Store (“Bed to Beach and Back”) Santa’s Toy Lab The Sewing Circle – Custom Home Décor, Marine Reupholstery, Designer Clothing, Alterations Textile Art “Escape Room with three different themed rooms”

Businesses specifically sought after for empty storefronts in Condo Building (these were incorporated with the rest of survey responses, but are listed here because they were requested by the condo residents themselves.)

--Professional Offices (2 respondents) --Restaurant, unspecified type (2) --Sub/Sandwich Restaurant (2) --Bakery (2) --Art/Craft/Framing Shop --Cheese/Wine/ Gourmet Shop --Used Book Store --Clothing Store (2) --Mexican or Italian Restaurants --Laundromat --Barber Shop --Butcher --Florist --Bowling Alley --Artisan/Home Goods

General remarks – what would help.

• Perhaps a Community Center that could share between a Senior Center and a Youth Center, • More support for businesses, those already here and new ones. • Better and faster internet service in the area with a good service team.” • “Any retail additions early in the redevelopment effort should complement, rather than compete with, existing local businesses. For example, a new brewery may decrease the revenue of our existing brewery if introduced too early in redevelopment, i.e. before the residential or hotel developments bring a significant increase of new residents and tourists • Promote the “car culture” in and around Colonial Beach highlighting the town's interest in motor sports, including cars, motorcycles, golf carts as indicated by the Bike Fest, Father's Day Classic Car Show, Drag Strip, the "Cruising" tradition, and multiple vehicle related businesses on Colonial Avenue. (Consider facades with a "retro" look.?


bottom of page