Publisher’s Notes- January 2023
By Bob Tagert
1988 – Present
With the printing of this issue we celebrate our 35th year in print and our 27th year of being both in print and online. Little did we know when I secured “oldtowncrier.com” it would be such a sought after moniker. We did find out that there are quite a few Old Town Criers out there in the “world” that we beat to the url registration punch. We have come a long way since my late partner David Underwood and I started out.
Thirty five years ago Old Town Alexandria pretty much ended at Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub in the 700 block of King Street. There was no metro then and the west end of King Street was abandoned warehouses, odd car dealerships and a hub for hookers on the corner of King and Henry. The footprint was quite different then and when we distributed our very first issue in January 1988 it was a couple hour process not a 2-3 day one. We distributed to the shops and galleries in Old Town as well as the bars and restaurants. Many of those businesses are gone now, but what a grand time it was back then. Parking was easy to find and everything was in a short walk. While I remain nostalgic for “back in the day”, Lani welcomes the renewed vibrance of the waterfront and the energy that it is bringing to Old Town with open arms – parking be damned.
As we developed the OTC into the early 90’s, we became a Regional publication when we expanded our content as well as our distribution to cover destinations into the Blue Ridge and near the Chesapeake Bay. These new markets gave us the opportunity to market Old Town – our Heart and Soul – and the surrounding neighborhoods literally “From the Bay to the Blue Ridge. This not only gives our local advertisers targeted exposure to readers in these areas, it gives us the opportunity to bring local readers information about them as well and vise versa. We remain the only local monthly that markets and promotes our Alexandria businesses, people and places outside of the area every month.
As we celebrate these 35 years we realize there are many, many businesses and people who have made all this possible. We have advertisers who have been with us from day one and more who have supported us for a very long time. As we supported all businesses through our publication during the COVID pandemic, it is those advertisers who supported us so that we might stay in business. There are a handful of special folks that helped us in the beginning and they know who they are, don’t they Frances and Peggy?
We also want to thank all of those who read us each month. We know that you are there. There is no more wonderful gratification that having to refill our distribution points three and four times during the month. And that, dear reader, is why we push on every month.
Wishing you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!