Roddie Macchi owner of the Great Canadian Grid recently announced the capping of GCG Stores offering free space at seven regions and the need for merchants to log in weekly to keep their rentals. "As the availability of free stores decreases in the grid you will start to see more region owners charging rental fees for space... like it was on other grids its all about supply and demand" Winter Silversmith CEO Silversmith Estates told the Corran Journal this week.
A couple region owners have adopted the hybrid system that we reported was introduced in Manitou regions in January 2017. In order to preserve their loyalty to their long standing merchants region owners, like Manitou Tourism, are not charging existing renters instead "grandfathering" them in at the free rental rate. To introduce a paid system they are charging a rental fee system on parcels that become available when a merchant or resident is evicted or leaves the region. The Quaking Aspen Mall owned by Marianna Monentes of Monentes Jewelry announced they are adopting the hybrid renting system starting this week by charging for a newly vacated store. Marianna told the Corran Journal that the mall has added additional carts for new merchants to rent for a fee.
"It is a bit of work to manage it but it is the most fair way to do it" Winter Silversmith said. "We placed rental boxes on all of the parcels that were available and charge rent accordingly. When a free renter leaves we place a box on that parcel and charge any new tenants rent. We have a 30 day active policy so if you have a free spot and you do not log in you will lose it." Many region owners are starting to realize that when they charge for space, even a small fee, merchants will be more active on their region. "Too many times with a free spot a merchant just sets up their stuff sits back and makes money and you never see them again" Winter continued "This is why we adopted things like the 30 day policy and modest rental fees to new renters. It is a cycle, you take in some money and that money continues through the grid as long as you do not cash it out. As a merchant if you are spending money to make money you tend to keep your products fresh and rotated and you advertise your shop more."
The Regional Municipality of Manitou, GCG charges a ten percent rate for prims. "A kiosk is 150 prims for only MC$15 a week, while a residential parcel offers 1,000 prims for only MC$100 a week" Winter said "the Covenant is long to read but basically it says be a good neighbour and do not lag the regions".
When asked about the merchant response to the new rent fees Winter had this to say "new renters have come to expect to pay rent when they set up shop, I believe that to them it's about supporting the region and the grid. If the store is popular and makes money it seems only fair that the region get a little kickback for offering the space. Some people might say that the regions shouldn't expect to make any money off merchants but then the same thing could be said about merchants charging customers for their products. We are all spending our time and money to create and maintain our community so it is nice when people appreciate the effort with tips, buying products or rent payments".
The small fee will not pay for the regions by any means; Manitou Tourism states, however, that the $Maples remain in the GCG and "will not be cashed out ever!". This means that the revenues made from renters will help pay for landscape improvements, entertainment and tips to local merchants and entertainers.
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We are a roleplay publication featuring activities in the Manitou, GCG regions and beyond.
Kevin M. Klerks, Editor
(aka Winter Silversmith)