Kristi Stokes is the president of the Greater Downtown Council in Duluth. Contact her at 727-8549.
- Member for
- 3 years 9 months
I recently enjoyed a summer vacation visiting various small cities and exploring the favorite places and businesses of the local residents as well as the tourists. The core of most communities is their downtown and the commercial business districts. These are truly a reflection of the local culture and economy. When I returned to Duluth I was even more energized as I noted the progress made on several construction projects in our downtown.
A Duluth resident and downtown employee recently reached out to our office just to let us know how much she appreciated our Clean & Safe Team. It is a message we receive frequently, but it continues to help reinforce that these team members are true ambassadors for Duluth and they make a lasting impression. This program is now in its 10th year of operation and it's rewarding to see the impact it has made on the Duluth Downtown Waterfront District and the community as a whole.
Streets have been cleaned, flowers have been planted and downtown construction projects have been humming along, showing signs of progress and growth. These are all great ways to prepare for the summer season as we showcase our downtown waterfront district. We are pleased that our downtown waterfront continues to host the thousands of runners and spectators of Grandma's Marathon this weekend. What a great way to kick off our summer and provide a strong boost to the local economy.
A recent survey on downtown Duluth indicates people are feeling safer, employees are feeling more satisfied and a larger percentage of respondents are making the downtown their destination for an evening out. We periodically survey our downtown employees as well as residents who visit the central business district. And our latest survey shows some encouraging trends.
Last month I packed away my winter gear. From boots, hats and mittens to dark, bulky clothing in my wardrobe, it was all put away in preparation for spring and summer. Well, almost. We all know we can conduct spring cleaning and prepare for the next season, but we also need to be ready to pull out a few of those must-have items to get us through the transition period. So, instead of packing away all my boots, I left the shorter ones accessible.
The ground is a bit frozen and the breezes are still brisk in Duluth, but we're gearing up for an all-star lineup for Movies in the Park at Leif Erikson Park this summer. Now in our sixth season of teaming up with Twin Ports Outdoor Movies, the Greater Downtown Council has been proud to bring so many friends and families together for free outdoor showings on the inflatable big screen. And, with a setting like Leif Erikson Park — where you can not only watch a movie, but catch a ship passing by as you overlook the lake — we challenge you to find a more picturesque environment.
Duluth's downtown waterfront is a destination for most when it comes to dining out. With the large variety of unique restaurants all within our central business district, sometimes the hardest decision is just trying to determine which restaurant to visit. We're pleased to give you another reason to explore some of our favorite restaurants, as Eat Downtown-Duluth Restaurant Week is just around the corner. This weeklong foodie frenzy runs March 1-7 and includes 18 restaurants partnering on this popular promotion.
Coming off the recent celebration of the Greater Downtown Council's 30th Annual Dinner Meeting, many stakeholders are energized by the momentum that is building downtown. We have significant construction projects underway and more that will be getting started. The GDC will meet with major employers to discuss additional creative ways to encourage new housing development downtown. We'll be updating tools for attracting and retaining businesses.
Construction signals growth and progress. And 2014 kicked off an exciting time in Duluth's downtown with several major multimillion-dollar projects getting underway with cranes and construction activity greeting everyone as they enter the heart of our community. Now, the new year brings forward the chance to share additional initiatives and reflect on the successes of our past. What better way to showcase all of this and to celebrate downtown Duluth than with the Greater Downtown Council's 30th annual dinner meeting later this month? Highlighting the Jan.
At this time of year when we give thanks and dive into the holiday season, I want to send out thanks to the growing community that has strongly supported our local businesses in the Duluth Downtown Waterfront District. Coming off of Small Business Saturday last week, we know this has been a successful national promotion that has allowed us to further shine the spotlight on our local businesses. And it has been quite visible, by the stores' sales, that shoppers are showing their support.