Businesses potentially impacted by Big Spring Park construction

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Some call it progress, others a nuisance. Major renovation work has shut down a major portion of Big Spring Park until April 2017.

Normally this time of year, foot traffic is heavy around Huntsville's signature downtown park.  “We do a little bit of Pokemon hunting and this is a good place to do it," says David Raschen, a frequent Big Spring Park visitor.

David and his wife aren't happy with the closure, and say the city could have achieved the same goals without completely shutting off access.  “You should do the least you can, to maintain what people like,' he says.

For nearby Pan E Vino Pizzeria, it could impact the amount of foot traffic they see.  “You know during the day we miss a lot of our walkers, we miss a lot of our families with their dogs and the pets and the ducks," says Stephanie Luther, a representative of the restaurant's ownership.

Except for a few hold-outs, most of the waterfowl in the park have flocked to new destinations and so have the scores of families on a Saturday afternoon.  “We’ve had people come by and call and ask, are you guys still open during the renovation and we want everyone to know we’re absolutely still open," says Luther.

She says their signature pizza is still keeping the customers coming in and their bottom line healthy.  “We have a lot of regulars," she says.

Still, empty chairs and blocked off sidewalks is not the sight you want to see for a "Saturday in the Park."

All of the construction will mean a few events will have to be relocated, most notably, the annual Tinsel Trail. It will be held just across the street at Big Spring Park East.