NIXA, Mo. – Downtown Nixa business owners are banding together to try to draw customers back in that they lost due to nearby construction.

Business owners said new activities are being planned for the area.

Soon, a courtyard atmosphere will be set up.

“Tables and chairs, games for kids,” said Ashley Gates, a downtown business owner. “On the weekends, we’re going to have some extra things. Bounce houses, pony rides, face painting. During the week, we’re going to have different vendors down here. Some food trucks.”

As soon as construction on Route 14 shifts to the other lane, business owners said that’s when they are allowed to create the set up on Main Street.

They said they hope it starts drawing in a much-needed crowd. 

“It’s like a ghost town,” said Debbie Moore, a business owner. “That’s what it has been like for the past few weeks.”

While business owners said the construction is unfortunate, it is allowing them to find ways to grow the downtown area.

“We’re hoping to also be able to test out a nightlife down here,” said Gates. “We’ve had a lot of people in our community ask for that. We’re hoping a few days a week we’ll be able to kind of test out if people will come for that, too. Have some food trucks, night lighting and street music.”

Gates said the courtyard will be open all the time during construction.