DCI Hosts Districts Meeting in Greeley

02/22/2019 2:42 PM | Morgan Pierce (Administrator)

The DCI District Committee lunch was held in Greeley Downtown on February 19, 2019. We had broad attendance from DCI Members from Castle Rock Downtown Alliance, Castle Rock Economic Development Council, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, City of Wheat Ridge, Downtown Boulder Partnership, Weld County Government, Havana BID, Tax Credit Connection, Longmont Downtown Development Authority, and the City of Greeley. Event sponsors included Greeley Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant and our event partner included the Greeley Downtown Development Authority.

The event consisted of a Downtown Greeley tour, Downtown Development Authorities (DDAs) and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) updates, a lunch discussion of relevant downtown development topics, and a presentation on Demonstrating the Value of Downtown to Community Members.

Demonstrating the Value of Downtown to Community Members Presentation by Cole Judge of Progressive Urban  Management Associates (P.U.M.A.)

The presentation focused on how to codify and define place management as a profession to ensure that planning, tracking, and reporting are diving into the real purpose of what we do. The presentation considered a process completed by DCI’s partner, International Downtown Association (IDA) to help members identify five areas that together create a well-rounded approach to Place Management. The five components outlined included:

  • Economy: Understanding the financial impacts of downtown in creating a strong region. Generally, downtowns are a small portion of the geography, with a huge return on investment.

  • Inclusion: Considering access and equity in opportunities and essential services is an important part of Place Management.

  • Vibrancy: Monitoring the balance business mix, density, mixed-use,  walkability, and considering how uses and users interact in the place establishes vitality.

  • Identity: The image and messaging of a place is established through social media presence, “hashtags”, celebrating unique characteristics, and a strong brand.

  • Resilience: The ability to adapt and thrive is evidenced through response and planning for social and environmental change.

Fun Stats to Share

Typically, downtowns only take up 3% of land area, but bring in a much larger percentage of money for the area:

  • 16% property tax

  • 42% hotel tax revenue

  • 28% of citywide jobs are in downtown

Discussion Topics

Planning vs Promoting Events: How do Place Managers treat business and property owners equitable when some are more involved in events and active in the community?

  • Have outside writers create top 10 lists for specific groups (Top 10 for college students, Top 10 date night ideas, Top 10 spots for moms, etc) and then share content

  • Have businesses create itineraries for how to spend time in the community.

  • Share social media and business’ posts instead of creating posts about the businesses. That way you’re just supporting an already active social media presence

  • Use pre-existing local/colorado bloggers to feature your town or do a things-to-do post

  • Use cinemark commercials

  • Use hotel key cards to gather data

  • Follow and share people/bloggers who are already writing and sharing about downtowns

Tips for Promoting Partner Events

  • Many DDAs do not host their own events and only support and/or promote community or citizen-led events, as developing and hosting own events is labor-intensive

  • Use a tiered sponsorship program with specific fees and requirements for each tier. This also helps to avoid favoritism. Tiered requirement examples: event must be partnering with 3-5 local businesses in order to co-sponsor, must be working on a current project or program together, etc.

How to Ensure Event Quality?

  • Engage all the businesses in the district, At a minimum, receive approval from each business. Create situations where local business are reaping the benefits (ex: selling local beer at events).

  • Good marketing strategies: Plan around free resources on social media and facebook (using “boost” as well). Town scavenger hunts (letsroam.com) is a good resource to show off your community. n

  • Parking language should consider parking opportunities vs parking problems. The real problem would be lots of unused and open parking spots.

Managing Murals: Graffiti vs Art

  • Use temporary mounts to gauge feedback and community response

  • Get a member of the HOA on the jury selection committee

  • Place art bios next to each piece, which helps it appear similar to a gallery, provides artist credibility

  • Remind community members that all pieces will be approved by the art commission.

Following the discussion, we went on a tour of downtown Greeley, hosted by the Greeley DDA, of the art alley downtown. The art alley project was used to create a welcoming outdoor space in downtown that featured different artistic interpretations of the theme “music”. The DDA contracts with the city to ensure the alley is is kept relatively clean, lights were installed above, and historic brick is able to remain preserved by hanging art on the wall on the grout. The community response has been positive and the alley continues to offer activities for community members and visitors to explore without cost or needing a guide. The alley is located between 8th and 9th streets and avenues. Be sure to check it next time you’re in Greeley!

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