It always strikes me as being a bit odd how this shopping centre rarely has many empty units when five miles down the road in the far busier resort town of Llandudno the equivalent shopping precinct (the Victoria Centre) usually has numerous units standing empty. At the time of writing the BayView has just one empty unit and that's currently being used for a "Save The Pier" exhibition so even that one is temporarily occupied.
I suspect the main reason for the vibrancy here is that at the very heart of the centre you'll find branches of Morrisons and Iceland so this is a place people come to by buy groceries and essentials whereas the Victoria Centre mainly offers "luxuries" such as clothing and jewellery. Elsewhere in the BayView you'll find a lot of discount retailers such as Home Bargains, Poundstretcher, Savers, The Works, Card Factory and Shoe Zone which I'm sure plays a part in attracting customers during these difficult times.
Other than shops the centre also has a coffee shop which sells the best toast in all of Colwyn Bay and it's also now home to the community art gallery. This may not be a place for art purists but it's a handy place to duck into for ten minutes if you need to escape the rain outside.
There are a couple of quibbles though, the first of which is the barrier controlled car park. The barriers were introduced a couple of years ago despite the fact that there are plenty of spaces and parking has never been a problem at any time of year so I don't understand why somebody decided it would a good idea to install them. The problem is that to get out you have to take your ticket to one of two ticket machines to get it validated, even if you haven't exceeded the time limit for free parking. The two machines are located together in the middle of the precinct so, if like me, you constantly forget to get your ticket validated before leaving and as a result have to troop all the way back it can be a bit annoying to say the least. They also slow down the flow of traffic so even if you aren't forgetful you'll still find them annoying.
The other quibble is with the number of chuggers and salesmen who harrass passing shoppers. At times there are so many dodgy charity reps and utility salesmen clogging up the place I turn round and walk out rather than run the gauntlet of people I don't know asking me for my bank details (they've got no chance). I presume they have to have permission to set up inside the centre so someone needs to learn how to say "NO" if they don't want to scare off all their potential customers.
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