Road closures for Whistlestop are affecting access to local businesses

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - While Whistlestop Bar-B-Que Weekend is bringing a ton of food and fun activities to downtown Huntsville, many are saying its also bringing a lot of chaos amongst local businesses.

Every year Church Street is blocked off and detour signs are set up, helping individuals navigate around the event.

While many are preparing for the fun activities that are going to take place right behind these gates, there are many people who are saying these road closures are affecting their business. "The parking and the getting to us is an issue," said Suzanne Conway, manager of Railroad Station Antiques.

Many businesses are affected by the hectic road closure, and there are even some businesses that are already closed. "We are going to have to close on Saturday, because it's just virtually impossible for customers to get here," said Conway.

She said they were notified ahead of time about the roads being blocked off. "We want to be supportive of their efforts and Early Works. We've just decided to go with it and be open as long as we can."

Owners at Dominion Salon and Spa on the other side of the road say they didn't even know about the closures until they showed up for work. "We were late for work. Clients have been late," said Patty McCarley.

McCarley said they want to see Whistlestop at a different location. "Some of our clients have actually given up and not even come, so that really affects our income when they do that." While most of the businesses support activity downtown, they also don't want to suffer from the impact of the roads being closed.

A couple of businesses plan on reaching out to the city, in hopes of getting the event moved next year.