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Shopping Events Draw Men Downtown

November 1, 2013
Offering men the opportunity to attend a fun event while getting some help with holiday shopping and wrapping is a good way to encourage more male customers to venture into downtown shops. Many individual retailers offer men-only holiday shopping events, and downtown organizations are beginning to see value in this approach, as well. For example,…Continue reading

 

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Downtown Idea Exchange – Web Extras

November 1, 2013
Container Park fills vacant space with entrepreneurial opportunities — To create a community gathering place, give entrepreneurs affordable space to launch business ventures, and bring new energy to the city center, the Downtown Project purchased one and one-third acres of land and designed a park complete with an interactive playground, public art, an outdoor performance venue, and more. Rather than incur the costs and time demands of new construction, the park features repurposed shipping containers and locally manufactured Xtreme Cubes. ...

Fostering artistic careers, building artistic neighborhoods — An innovative pilot program in Cleveland, OH, is providing affordable artist housing while building a stronger creative economy for the city. A low-cost weekend familiarization trip was marketed to the group’s database. See detailed information on the Collinwood project and background reports from the Rust Belt to Artist Belt conference. Picturing Collinwood From the Rust Belt to Artist Belt, Executive Summary From the Rust Belt to Artist Belt, Companion Report ...

Libraries: a valuable ally in economic development — In their bid to remain relevant in an increasingly bookless society and to survive municipal budget cuts, libraries are evolving into valuable downtown partners. Read the report Partners for the Future: Public Libraries and Local Governments Creating Sustainable Communities. ...

Art and teamwork are expanding the downtown footprint — Belfast, ME, boasts a Main Street organization, the Belfast Creative Coalition, a city economic development office, and the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce. The leaders of the four organizations meet at least monthly to see how they can support each other, avoid duplication of effort, and maximize opportunities. They have even developed an Excel “cheat sheet” so that they can provide seamless service to prospective business owners. ...

E-commerce expands customer outreach — Having an online sales option enables brick-and-mortar retailers to promote products to customers outside their own communities, and also draws more foot traffic into downtown businesses. By sharing one website, each business can have its own fully functional e-commerce presence for a fraction of the cost of creating individual sites. See the Historic Quincy Business District E-Commerce Participant Agreement. ...

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Quantifying Event Benefits

October 15, 2013
An effective, accurate survey can help demonstrate the economic boost brought to city centers during downtown festivals and events. Having those numbers in hand can help event producers defend budgets, attain funding, and quell objections from those who think downtown events are too disruptive. This month in Downtown Promotion Reporter newsletter, Patrick Tierney, chair of…Continue reading

 

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Data Drives Creation of Successful Public Space

October 1, 2013
Through an intensive data gathering process, the University City District in Philadelphia, PA, has converted a barren stretch of sidewalk into a successful public plaza. The space was originally devoted to 33 parallel parking spaces, but was converted to a 55-foot by 500-foot sidewalk area during a DOT project. The District, “quickly humanized the space”…Continue reading

 

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Downtown Idea Exchange – Web Extras

October 1, 2013
It’s time to rightsize old streets to better meet the needs of new users — Rightsizing is the process of reallocating street space to better serve the full range of users. See the FHA’s Summary Report on the impact of rightsizing on crashes. ...

Art installations create support for more art — In Durango, CO, the city is learning that the more public art it has, the more public art people want to see. Donations of art, as well as pieces on loan, are multiplying throughout the community. View the Durango Art Donation Agreement. ...

Gen Y still likes to shop in stores — Despite being far more tech savvy than previous generations, Generation Y has not traded shopping in stores for online purchasing says a new report from the Urban Land Institute. ...

Video contests generate unique perspectives and low-cost marketing materials — Rather than paying staff or filmmakers to spend hours creating promotional photographs, videos, and sound bites, some downtown organizations are sponsoring video contests and then using the entries for future marketing efforts. The October issue of Downtown Promotion Reporter shows readers how. Click here to see a sample video contest entry form. ...

Outdoor fitness zones gain popularity in city centers — Increasingly, city centers are exploring ways to keep residents healthier and to contribute to their quality of life, which in turn creates a more vibrant downtown full of active people. Communities across the nation are finding creative way to fund fitness zones, and installing them in a variety of configurations, from accessories to existing fitness trails to functional public art. ...

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Defining Your Community’s Brand

September 13, 2013
While there are many rewards to be gained from downtown branding, misunderstandings about what branding is, and is not, can make these efforts less effective. Branding is not simply a matter of a new tag line, logo, or ad campaign; it is about accurately identifying and communicating a promise about the most valuable aspects of…Continue reading

 

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Downtown Idea Exchange – Web Extras

September 1, 2013
Successful crowd control enhances downtown events — The September issue of Downtown Idea Exchange highlights key practices from the Police Executive Research Forum report, Managing Major Events: Best Practices from the Field. Click the link to read the full report. ...

Parking plan maximizes on-street parking for downtown customers — The focus of the Downtown Parking Solutions Project in Hillsboro, OR, was two-fold: first, to identify ways to better manage Hillsboro’s existing parking situation, and second, to examine long-term strategies that would address downtown density going forward. The Executive Summary from the project report is online here. ...

Mushing is not just for huskies — March 1 is the first day of the Iditarod, a 1,100-mile-long dogsled race from Anchorage to Nome, AK. Some downtowns are creating races of their own — using shopping carts and teams of human mushers. Three events were profiled in the September issue of Downtown Promotion Reporter. See the map and rules from the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis Idiotarod. ...

New market draws weekend customers downtown — By offering a wide range of fresh and prepared foods, varied programming, areas for gathering and dining, and cross promoting with downtown events and main street businesses, New Rochelle, NY’s Grand Market is a blueprint for success. ...

Good communication and lots of promotions keep downtown bustling during construction — Faced with a lengthy and disruptive downtown construction project, the Main Street program in Ogallala, NE, was determined “not merely to cope but to make the experience a positive one.” View some of the many collateral materials used during the Downtown Construction Ahead — So What! campaign. Construction Calendar Construction Details Alternate Routes ...

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Maximizing Downtown Event Space

August 30, 2013
In an effort to encourage owners of parking garages to activate their spaces during down times, the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative created a pop-up rooftop performance venue at a downtown parking garage. “We were hoping owners would see that garages could be put to really good use during the evening hours when it’s not as…Continue reading

 

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Bring More Retail Downtown with a Collective

August 1, 2013
Bringing more retail downtown may require an unconventional path. In St. Louis, MO, that path saw the downtown organization develop a retail collective. When a developer purchased a significant amount of property downtown, the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis stepped up to advocate for a larger retail presence. “We were concerned we would miss an…Continue reading

 

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Downtown Idea Exchange – Web Extras

August 1, 2013
Grassroots planning summit yields vision for downtown — After 20 years, most of the recommendations from the Intown Manchester Development Plan in Manchester, NH, have been accomplished. However, Intown Manchester didn’t want to “rest on its laurels.” Instead, the organization convened a day-long Next Steps Summit. Read the Next Steps Report. ...

Uniqueness factor and local support key to event success — For an event to become sustainable, it must have the support of local businesses, and it must continue to draw crowds year after year. The August issue of Downtown Promotion Reporter shows how the Annual Great American Duck Race does just that. Hear the radio ads, view the tv commercial. Deming Duck Race TV ad Deming Duck Race radio ad from 2011 Deming Duck Race radio ad from 2010 ...

Art events can benefit all downtown businesses — Events that highlight the local creative economy are a wonderful addition to downtown cultural offerings. See how the Bozeman Downtown Art Walks activate downtown. View the promotional materials sent annually to downtown businesses encouraging participation. ...

Creating a year-round tourism community — Promoting an “open year-round” message helped Eureka Springs, AR, bolster the local economy. See the marketing materials. Save the Date Invitation Shopping in Eureka Springs web page Winter Hideaway in Eureka Springs web page ...

How to reach out to writers — When a community has a story to tell, it’s important to engage the media. Here are links to national travel and outdoor writers’ organizations. The Society of American Travel Writers The Outdoor Writers Association of America The Editorial Freelancers Association The American Society of Journalists and Authors ...

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