Letter to the Editor: Keep pushing to revitalize downtown

accesories-text-editor-hiI have attended every downtown  meeting since last fall to help with revitalization efforts and regret being unable to attend the most recent meeting. According to reports, it was a very successful meeting and many worthwhile suggestions were discussed. The focus was on long term plans and projects that involved city action or government funding.

Remember! Ken Devero said that Downtown Fort Worth Inc. was started, funded and carried out by local citizens who cared about downtown, not by the merchants who were already burdened by slow business, nor was its success dependent upon government programs or public funding.

Jeannie Lane (owner of The White Buffalo Gallery and several downtown buildings) has said the revitalization efforts should first focus on increasing the number of businesses before working to increase the number of visitors. I agree.

And, Ken Devero said, “Bring more artists downtown.” If owners of the vacant buildings were asked to allow “working studios” or other temporary occupancy, that would, according to Devero, “add a lot of vibrancy” downtown. “We need to present the vacant buildings to potential tenants — maybe on local websites,” Lane said. These things can be done, now.

Hours of operation were discussed and shop owners need to be encouraged to keep regular hours, but if the business is increased, shop owners will be able to afford to keep regular hours and stay open.

The Main Street program was recommended by Devero and can be instituted, again. It is a great program and will be more effective than before.

Other topics that have been discussed in the past include downtown events (talked about at this recent meeting by Bob Drake), live music and entertainment, historical reenactments and tours, annual festivals, use of the Palace Theatre and many more.

In a prior year with some well-placed advertising and a general feeling of optimism, downtown was packed with tourists, visitors and new faces on Labor Day weekend. This was before Glen Rose had a CVB, a director or an events coordinator..

Labor Day weekend, 2014 is Aug. 31-Sept. 2.  Can we do it, again?

Margaret Drake`s comment was the highlight of this meeting: “Let`s form some committees and push some of this forward,” she said. “You have to keep pushing for it.”

Larry P. Smith

Glen Rose

 

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