The holiday season is over, and downtown had its usual heavy traffic in a couple of hot spots. The skating rink at PPG Place is very popular. Another favorite destination is the creche on the plaza at the US Steel Building.
The rink has great atmosphere: A giant tree, the skating rink, wide open space, holiday music playing. It's like the Pittsburgh version of Rockefeller Center. The difference is there's no real retail presence of any consequence in the shadow of PPG Place. So we know that people come, rent skates and sip hot chocolate. But do they do anything else downtown? Ruth's Chris Steakhouse isn't the kind of place where you drop in for a snack with the kids after an afternoon of skating. I'm not sure that any business really benefits much from all the visitors.
The scene is largely the same at the creche. The Steel Building has always been an island unto itself in that part of town. No stores in the immediate area, no quick bite places within site of the plaza.
Downtown has two nice attractions in the holiday season that should bring people into the area. Too bad there isn't more near either to keep the visitors a little longer.