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Main Street Strategic Guide Resource Team Report Main Street Dodge City 2010

A service provided by:

Kansas Main Street Program Kansas Department of Commerce


Dear Friends of Dodge City Main Street:

First, on behalf of the team of Bruce McMillan, Ben Moore, Barbara Anderson, Todd Barman, Norma Ramirez de Miess, Mary Helmer and Jeanne Stinson, we want to thank you for such a warm welcome to your community! It has truly been our privilege to learn more about your community, your downtown district and, of course, getting to know you individually. We also want to offer our sincere appreciation to those who took time away from their businesses, jobs and families to share with us their knowledge, perceptions, desires and even your wildest dreams for downtown Dodge City. It is because of your honesty and commitment to your downtown and community that we have been able to put together this completed Resource Team document. As the team met with you during the week of August 2-6, 2010, we were impressed by the potential of the district. You currently have a mix of businesses, service providers, non-profits, cultural centers and governmental entities that ensure a diversity of opportunity and provide a solid base for future development. You have a critical mass of buildings, ranging from those that need immediate attention to save them to those that have recently been updated or redeveloped. The authentic history of Downtown Dodge City is tied to the history of both our state and nation, which can help position this district in a very unique manner. We were equally impressed with how the community interacted. Comments and ideas were treated with respect; there is an ability to communicate freely and openly with each other. There is certainly the ability to look at yourselves with a critical eye, and yet still see the promise of what could be! From our perspective as a team, we observed many positives in the community. I would like to share this less than comprehensive list of assets we see in downtown Dodge City: • People – We love how passionate you are about your community. The walk of life, years in town, ethnicity, or age; nothing seems to matter. There is an obvious feeling of pride in being a citizen of this community. You area working to include everyone, and, as this base of trust continues to grow, your efforts will be rewarded with a great community centered by a great downtown. •

Location – Dodge City itself has been a destination for more than 138 years. It hosts visitors from around the world on a regular basis. It freely shares its heritage with those who want to learn more. The downtown district itself has been cut off over the years from access to major roads, but with some work, entries can be defined without


disrupting traffic flow. The linkage between the museum and the downtown district should help in the development of pedestrian traffic into the central business district. •

Businesses – You have a strong core of retail, professional and service businesses that already serve as individual destinations within the district. Part of the job of the Main Street organization will be helping these businesses form stronger partnerships and encourage the development of a “district mentality” – each business having an impact on the other. Better marketing of individual businesses and district will help define and strengthen the market.

Promotion – There is such opportunity to develop some great community celebrations and special events that will serve to re-introduce citizens and visitors to the “heart of Dodge” - the place where “the story” started and continues to grow!

Buildings – You have a great stock of historic buildings both in the district and immediately adjacent to the district. It is easy to see the potential for revitalization efforts just by looking around. Even those buildings that are underutilized are full – full of opportunity! With the right mix of marketing and business development over time, Downtown Dodge City will be a jewel on the plains.

Downtown Dodge City is ready to take advantage of the Main Street program. Your leadership is strong, you have committed volunteers to get you started and you have a long list of assets that can be used as the stepping stones to a great future. The only limitations are those that you put on yourselves. Are you willing to roll up your sleeves and get to work? The future is waiting! Best regards always, Jeanne Stinson State Coordinator Kansas Main Street program Kansas Dept. of Commerce

RURAL DEVELOPMENT DIVISION 1000 S.W. Jackson St., Suite 100; Topeka, KS 66612-1354 ● Phone: (785) 296-3485 ● Fax: (785) 296-3776


TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION & STRATECTIC VISIONING

GOALS & OBJECTIVES

ORGANIZATION

PROMOTION

ECONOMIC RESTRUCTURING

DESIGN

ADDENDUM: COMMUNITY VISIONING NOTES DODGE CITY COMMUNITY COLLEGE MEETING NOTES


INTRODUCTION & STRATEGIC VISION


INTRODUCTION Dodge City – a Kansas Main Street Community Dodge City is located in Southwest Kansas at the intersection of U.S. Route 50, U.S. Route 56, and U.S. Route 283. The population of Dodge City in the 2000 Census was 25,176 with a median age of 28.9, and a median household income of $37,156. Previously, Dodge City was in the Main Street program, participating for five years until deciding to leave the program. Since that time, although other areas of Dodge City have seen tremendous growth in recent years, little has been done to focus on downtown, leaving it in great need of revitalization. The Main Street planning group has taken a broad approach, involving the entire community, in the application and designation process. Members of the community are enthusiastic, and ready and willing to give and serve to contribute to the on-going process of downtown revitalization through their newly designated status of Kansas Main Street. As a newly designated Kansas Main Street community, Downtown Dodge City can expect significant improvement in five years (depending on how hard the community chooses to work). They should realize that improvement comes in many different forms and that successes should be celebrated in all areas of the Main Street Approach. Purpose The Resource Team report is a service provided by the Kansas Main Street Program, Kansas Department of Commerce, to guide downtown Dodge City’s local revitalization efforts through the first years of the program’s designation and beyond. The Resource Team provided these recommendations to Main Street Dodge City based on the Main Street Four-Point Approach. This is a recommended course of action with specific activities for each of the four committees. Acknowledgements and Thanks The week of August 2-6, 2010, was an intensive week full of meetings, interviews, and a community visioning session. A special thanks to Chelsey Fisher, Main Street Dodge City Director, JoAnn Knight & Joe Bogner, board members and the volunteers of Main Street Dodge City for planning the details of the week, as requested of them. Also, our appreciation to the City of Dodge City, City & County officials for their commitment and total involvement of the downtown revitalization efforts. Last, but not least, thank you to all of those who participated in the interviews, meetings, and community visioning session. Without your input, none of this would be possible. Team Members The Resource Team members who conducted all of the on-site information gathering, analysis, and preparation of this report include: Bruce McMillan, AIA, McMillan Architects; Ben Moore, Associate with McMillan Architects, & Barbara Anderson, Consultant for McMillan Architects, Todd Barman, National Main Street Center; Norma Ramirez de Miess, National Main Street Center, Jeanne Stinson, Kansas Main Street Coordinator; & Mary Helmer, Kansas Main Street Assistant Coordinator.


Team Process Recommendations are based on information gathered from the Dodge City community through a review of existing publications, interviews, tours, meetings, and a facilitated community visioning session.

Main Street Approach The Main Street Approach is a process through which the four points are integrated into a comprehensive program designed to build upon local opportunities and to build community selfreliance for business district economic development. This involves not only attention to all four points of the Main Street Approach, but also careful adaptation of the Main Street Approach to each community’s specific needs. This visit was comprehensive and the team’s investigation, observations, recommendations, and presentation follows the Main Street Four-Point Approach to downtown revitalization: Organization establishes consensus and cooperation by building partnerships that will allow the development of a consistent revitalization program. Diverse groups from both the public and private sectors (bankers, city officials, merchants, chamber of commerce, property owners, community leaders, and others) must work together to create and maintain a successful program. Economic Restructuring strengthens the business district’s existing economic assets while diversifying its economic base. Activities include retaining and expanding existing businesses, recruiting new businesses to provide a balanced commercial mix, converting unused or underutilized space into productive property, and sharpening the competitiveness and merchandising skills of business people. Promotion creates a positive image of the district to attract customers and investors, and to rekindle community pride in the district. Promotion includes the development of sophisticated joint retail sales events, festivals, and a consistent public image. This can be accomplished through graphic and media presentations, as well as through programs that attract investors, developers, and new businesses. Design enhances the visual qualities of and takes advantage of the visual opportunities inherent in the traditional business district by directing attention to all physical elements: buildings, storefronts, signs, public improvements, landscaping, merchandising displays, and promotional


materials. Its aim is to stress the importance of design quality in all of these areas, to educate people about design quality, and to expedite improvements downtown.

Eight Guiding Principles of Main Street While the Main Street approach provides the format for successful revitalization, implementation of the Four-Point Approach is based on eight principles that pertain to the entire revitalization effort: Comprehensive. Downtown revitalization is a complex process and cannot be accomplished through a single project. For successful long-term revitalization, a comprehensive approach must be utilized. Incremental. Small projects and simple activities lead to a more sophisticated understanding of the revitalization process and help to develop skills so that more complex problems can be addressed and more ambitious projects can be undertaken. Self-Help. Local leaders must have the desire and will to make the project successful. The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Center and the Kansas Main Street Program provide direction, ideas and training, but continued and long-term success depend upon the involvement and commitment of the community. Public/Private Partnership. Both the public and private sectors have a vital interest in the economic health and physical viability of the downtown. Each sector has a role to play, and each must understand the others strengths and limitations so that an effective partnership can be forged. Identifying and Capitalizing on Existing Assets. Downtown districts must capitalize on the assets that make them unique. Every district has unique qualities--like the distinctive buildings and human scale environment that give people a sense of place. These local assets must serve as the foundation for all aspects of the revitalization program. Quality. Quality must be emphasized in every aspect of the revitalization program. This applies equally to each element of the program, from storefront design to promotional campaigns to educational programs. Implementation-Oriented. Activity creates confidence in the program and ever greater levels of participation. Frequent visible changes are a reminder that the revitalization effort is under way. Small projects at the beginning of the program pave the way for larger activities as the revitalization effort matures. Change. Changes in attitude and practice are necessary to improve current economic conditions. Public support for change will build as the program grows.


National Main Street Accreditation Recognition The National Main Street Program recognition process valuates established commercial district revitalization programs on the basis of ten basic performance standards and provides national recognition to those that meet these standards. The ten performance standards provide benchmarks and guidelines on how the organization should be functioning and an incentive to organizations to perform better and be more effective. You will be eligible for this after the completion of your first year. Kansas Main Street staff will evaluate your program and make appropriate recommendation(s) to the National Main Street Center. Overall goals are to provide national and local visibility to local Main Street programs which understand and fully utilize the Main Street Four-Point Approach and eight Main Street principles and which continue to evolve organizationally to meet new challenges; to provide national standards for performance for Main Street programs; and to provide realistic goals and a tangible incentive for local Main Street programs which do not yet meet the criteria for national recognition. The benefits of receiving the recognition of the National Main Street Program are meant to reward organizations and provide attention within their community. Designees receive a certificate and a special press release to be used locally to promote their designation. Those that attend National Town Meeting from the community receive a special ribbon for their name badge. National Main Street Programs are also listed on the National Main Street Center's web site. However, the ultimate benefit is a much stronger and better functioning organization.

Ten Performance Standards 1. Broad-based public support for the commercial district revitalization process, with strong support from both the public and private sectors. 2. Vision and mission statements relevant to community conditions and the local Main Street program’s organizational stage. 3. Comprehensive Main Street work plan providing detailed blueprint from activities, reinforcing the program’s accountability and providing objectives by which the program can track success. 4. Historic Preservation ethic. 5. Working board of directors and committees. 6. Adequate operating budget. 7. Paid, professional program director. 8. Program of ongoing training for staff and volunteers. 9. Reporting of key statistics. 10. Current member of the National Main Street network.


Strategic Visioning Strategic Visioning has a power that is grounded in its ability to move us toward the future in a profound way. It is a deep sense of purpose for what your downtown stands for and what your organization is striving to create. Vision provides meaning in our lives by describing who we are and what we want to become – a portrayal – a vivid description of your desired future. With Vision, you can build a bridge between the present conditions and the future you want to create. Your Vision is a picture of the outcome you seek, the results you want to achieve. It is the creation from which more immediate goals and a plan of action should be derived. This is the basis for how you (your program, your downtown) grows and evolves. It should span five years which serves to keep you focused and enables you to translate this purpose into do-able activities. In order for dreams and desires to inspire you to action and achievement, they need to be big. If you don’t get excited about what you have planned for the future, you will never find the inspiration you need to motivate yourself and others to make change. Powerful dreams can move the soul, and when you dream the big dream, you will be driven to make the compelling picture a tangible reality. If you skip the visioning step, you’re left with little that will inspire action or direct an effective change process. Motivation happens when the vision aligns with the “partners” needs and wants. This will give you and your partners the drive and determination to put all of your heart, mind, and effort into moving yourselves in the direction you want to achieve – your vision.

Vision is: •A deep sense of purpose for what an organization stands for and strives to create –Inspires action –Infuses passion –Aligns individuals to the purpose –Helps people to rise above their fears of current reality –Embodies highest values and aspirations o Excellence o Service o Community

The following vision was composed from the words and desires of the people who were at the public visioning session. This is what the Main Street Dodge City Program and all of the community partners will use this vision to guide the work that takes place in the downtown and any community activities that affect the downtown area.


2016 Downtown Dodge City Vision Downtown Dodge City has reestablished itself as the prosperous and inviting heart of the community! Based on its authentic heritage and history, Downtown Dodge has embraced their multi-cultural, immigrant beginnings by welcoming ethnic, western, and traveler related businesses, many with “made in Dodge” authenticity. The various venues available in downtown showcase the arts and talents of the region; music, dance, re-enactments, farmers market, Boot Hill Museum, the Santa Fe Depot and theatrics all play a role in educating and entertaining local citizens, students and visitors to the community. There has been growth and expansion in the arts, retail venues and public museums. Many buildings have been restored to their historic integrity; the infrastructure to the district has been improved allowing for upper floor housing development in a true mixed use district that features high occupancy in niche retail, professional, financial, and government arenas along with meeting space and a learning center supported by Dodge City Community College. Landscaping has helped develop a pedestrian and vehicle friendly district that encourages parking and walking to experience great businesses and Dodge City’s western heritage. Strong partnerships have developed between downtown businesses, property owners, government, non-profits and educational institutions all of whom have worked together to not only develop a realistic plan of action for downtown development, but have used that plan proactively to attract visitors and citizens of all ages and ethnicities to the district. The creation and retention of jobs have helped create an opportunity for additional revenues and other capital investment in the district. Downtown Dodge City is a place where everyone is safe, welcome and treated with the warm friendly hospitality that the community is known for! The center of this growing, thriving community, Downtown Dodge City is not only the place “Relive the Story”, but also the place to create and celebrate the future!


GOALS & OBJECTIVES


Committee Goals and Objectives -Main Street Dodge City ProgramOrganization Goal: To advance awareness of the Main Street Program, initiate and maintain support while working toward a common goal. Objectives: ▪ Define the role of the Organization Committee. ▪ Sustain and support community involvement by establishing working relationships with downtown stakeholders and partners, and through volunteer development. ▪ Continue to grow financial support for the revitalization effort through a diversified funding base. ▪ Promote the program, build coalitions and partnerships. Promotion Goal:

Market the downtown as a cohesive entity and rebuild the vitality of downtown. Objectives: ▪ Get to “know” downtown internally (board, committees, business to business) & externally (consumers) ▪ Re-introduce downtown thru events and activities such as; Flavor of Dodge, A-Z Marketing Campaign, Image building activities ▪ Coordinate a comprehensive marketing strategy to promote downtown - branding, cross promoting, electronic. ▪ Develop image building activities for the district. Economic Restructuring Goal:

To increase public and private investment downtown. Objectives: ▪ Create and maintain Downtown Dodge City property and business inventory. ▪ Form personal relationships with all downtown property and business owners. ▪ Define Downtown Dodge City’s market position. ▪ Ongoing targeted market research. ▪ Create a Downtown Dodge City development plan. ▪ Develop economic partners ▪ Develop entrepreneurs Design Goal: To improve the downtown district through commitment to maintaining its historic buildings and enhancing its character. Objectives: ▪ Develop an awareness and sensitivity for the historic integrity of the built environment ▪ Plan and implement a program for clean-up and repair in the downtown area. ▪ Provide an organized clear graphics program for way finding into the downtown area by establishing “gateways”. ▪ Improve merchandising techniques to entice individuals to shop downtown businesses. ▪ Establish a consistent long-term building maintenance and improvement program in the downtown district.


ORGANIZATION


ORGANIZATION Norma Ramirez de Miess Senior Program Officer, National Trust Main Street Center The ORGANIZATION point on the Main Street Approach® focuses on bringing the community together to build consensus, develop public and private sector partnership, and recruit & manage the resources that help build an effective and sustainable downtown revitalization program. This section provides more detail to the summary of findings offered to the board of directors at the conclusion of the visit with a particular focus to supporting the role of the Board of Directors, Staff, and the Organization committee. These observations and recommendations are based on the information gathered from materials received in preparation for the visit, additional online research, and onsite meetings with the board of directors, local leaders and community stakeholders. OBSERVATIONS STRENGTHS:  Momentum. The application and selection process for the Main Street designation has built great interest. Throughout the visit, the Resource Team met with community members and leaders from both the public and private sector willing to participate and anxious to focus on the revitalization of Dodge City’s Downtown.  Strong Board. The Main Street program has formed a strong board of directors that includes committed individuals and leaders representing various sectors of the community.  Community Partnerships. Through proactive efforts during the application process, the Main Street board confirmed financial pledges to support the Main Street Program for the next five years. Additional collaboration with existing groups in the community continues to be defined to add resources to the revitalization program.  Small businesses clearly sustain the economic base of Downtown, where most of the existing businesses are Hispanic-owned serving a local and regional customer base. Random visits to some of the businesses in the Downtown district during the visit showed that a bilingual environment that is clearly an asset in reaching the diverse local population. However, there is a general perception of a language barrier to access these businesses, probably caused by signage been done in Spanish only.


OPPORTUNITIES: The implementation of the Main Street ApproachÂŽ in Dodge City offers the following opportunities for the Downtown district, the newly developed Main Street Program, and the entire community:

1. Position Downtown as: a) The heart of Dodge City’s identity, history, and heritage. b) The center of community activity for locals and visitors to enjoy the arts, heritage activities and events, special attractions, and unique shopping and dining experiences.

2. Position the Main Street Program as a catalyst: a) To Build Focus on Downtown. Although it is surrounded by established economic anchors, an active commercial corridor, and existing and new attractions, Downtown shows the need for proactive attention. The Main Street designation reflects a commitment to a dedicated effort to address the needs of Downtown. By implementing a comprehensive approach to revitalization, the community will need to focus on enhancing the physical appearance of Downtown; sustaining its built historic environment; strengthening its economic base and developing new opportunities; and positioning Downtown as an appealing destination for locals and visitors. b) Bring a diverse community together. The history of Dodge City shows how diverse populations have contributed to building the community and its economy. Yet even at present times, the populations present in the community seem to live and work as separate groups maintaining the image of a divided community. Through beneficial programming and an inclusive and representative organizational structure, the Main Street Program will need to connect all the sectors through a vision that unifies and celebrates all the contributions that continue to build the quality of life of the community. Build a sense of ownership and pride that drive all those who benefit of a healthy and vibrant Downtown into action as active leaders, partners, and investors will be an important component of the revitalization effort.

RECOMMENDATIONS: I.

Build a Representative Main Street Leadership Structure. One of the most important principles of the Main Street ApproachÂŽ is the need for revitalization to be a community driven effort through broad-based participation. Board leaders in particular, have


a unique opportunity to represent the interests of Downtown with an active voice and vote in the decisions that will directly impact the Downtown district. Therefore it is important that Downtown property and business owners be active participants in the efforts through leadership in board of directors and main committees. Revitalization depends on building a program that works WITH Downtown stakeholders rather than just FOR their benefit and observation. Partners from the public and private sectors bring additional perspectives and resources from within the community and surrounding areas. A quick review of the current board leadership composition was done to assess the strengths and needs in building a balanced leadership base. The chart below provides a glance at the level of representation from the different sectors from within Downtown, the community, the City and County; what these leaders offer through their personal and professional background; and how the organization is (or should be) utilizing their leadership support.

We recommend considering this format to conduct a more complete assessment as part of a board meeting or during a board retreat and among committees as well. Although only basic information was gathered through this exercise, it provided some key indicators of the current leadership structure:


1. The Main Street Program includes participation from Downtown and the community. However, the participation of Downtown businesses needs to increase in order to create a more balanced and representative Downtown revitalization program. This can be achieved through a proactive outreach to connect with existing Downtown businesses and build engagement; particularly important is the consideration of representation from Hispanic business and property owners since they have such a strong presence in Downtown. Beyond racial balance, the goal is to make sure the Main Street Program adds their perspective and voice and active participation. 2. Through a more detailed review of individual backgrounds, the board (and committees) can outline the strength in skills and talents already available as well as the needs to consider in future recruitment efforts. There are a number of assets already offering a strong base to the current board. They include knowledge base and experience in small business management, finances, public relations, and bilingual skills to mention a few. 3. We understand that the board is currently defining the roles its members, particularly for chair positions for committees. We recommend to confirm this process and more specifically, to consider roles and responsibilities for each board member. It is important for each member to understand that their participation in the board involves an active role in the management of the organization and its efforts. If board roles are not clearly outlined, consider developing a “position (or job) description� and even a letter of agreement for key leadership positions. This will help provide more specific information about the opportunities and the expectations of leadership, time, and resources. The chart offers an example of the potential board leadership structure.


Under the Main Street methodology, individual business and property owners have the opportunity to build strong leadership skills in different aspects of Downtown revitalization that will surely benefit their personal and professional development. Please ensure active participation in all the training opportunities offered by the Kansas Main Street Program. II.

Share the VISION for Downtown Dodge City and the MISSION of the Main Street Program. The Resource Team Visit included a visioning session as an important component to help build a strong foundation for the program. Input was gathered during this and an additional session after the visit about what the community envisions Downtown Dodge City for the next five years. Although it is expected that the vision for Downtown will continue to be shaped through the revitalization process, the following “2016 Vision for Downtown Dodge City” statement was compiled by the Kansas Main Street Program as a result of this input gathering sessions: 2016 Vision for Downtown Dodge City

Downtown Dodge City has reestablished itself as the prosperous and inviting heart of the community! Based on its authentic heritage and history, Downtown Dodge has embraced their multi-cultural, immigrant beginnings by welcoming ethnic, western, and traveler related businesses, many with “made in Dodge” authenticity. The various venues available in downtown showcase the arts and talents of the region; music, dance, re-enactments, farmers market, Boot Hill Museum, the Santa Fe Depot and theatrics all play a role in educating and entertaining local citizens, students and visitors to the community. There has been growth and expansion in the arts, retail venues and public museums. Many buildings have been restored to their historic integrity; the infrastructure to the district has been improved allowing for upper floor housing development in a true mixed use district that features high occupancy in niche retail, professional, financial, and government arenas along with meeting space and a learning center supported by Dodge City Community College. Landscaping has helped develop a pedestrian and vehicle friendly district that encourages parking and walking to experience great businesses and Dodge City’s western heritage. Strong partnerships have developed between downtown businesses, property owners, government, non-profits and educational institutions all of whom have worked together to not only develop a realistic plan of action for downtown development, but have used that plan proactively to attract visitors and citizens of all ages and ethnicities to the district. The creation and retention of jobs have helped create an opportunity for additional revenues and other capital investment in the district.


Downtown Dodge City is a place where everyone is safe, welcome and treated with the warm friendly hospitality that the community is known for! The center of this growing, thriving community, Downtown Dodge City is not only the place “Relive the Story”, but also the place to create and celebrate the future!

With the Vision statement in place, we recommend the following additional steps: 1. Promote the VISION for Downtown - as part of the Organization Committee’s work plan. This effort should include appropriate online tools, printed materials, and connecting activities that foster a strong connection among stakeholders and a strong sense of ownership in the revitalization program. 2. Outline the mission for the organization. With a Vision Statement in place, it is recommended for the board to outline the mission of the Main Street Program through a concise, easily understood, and distinctive statement that reflects the comprehensive focus of the revitalization program. The Kansas Main Street Program can assist in this process or provide examples as needed. III.

Build the Value of the Main Street Program through initiatives that directly benefit Downtown. The revitalization process will require dedication of time and resources to address the needs and opportunities of Downtown. This can be best accomplished through a comprehensive work plan. Planning the work of the Main Street Program and then working the plan or implementing it is a process that involves everyone in the program board, committees, and staff. It helps avoid “accidental” work by focusing on outlined priorities from assessed needs and available resources. We recommend defining a work plan that includes specific goals and project outlines for the next 12-15 months, or even 18 months if needed depending on the fiscal timelines. The fiscal year for the organization can provide a good parameter for the timing between development, approval, and implementation. a. Staff’s work plan – management of daily operations and coordination of committees. b. Board’s work plan – in addition to defining the overall priorities for the program, the board should outline their own annual objectives and roles and expectations. c. Committees work plan - outline the projects that meet with the priorities established by the board. Evaluating past efforts will help determine what remain or need coordination with other committees or partnerships with additional organizations. Staff can obtain samples of work plan formats from the state and from other programs through the national list serve, and then create one that might best fit the local effort. The Kansas Main Street Program can provide assistance facilitating a work planning session or guiding staff and board through the process.


THE ORGANIZATION COMMITTEE can provide key support to the board and other committees in implementing initiatives that address the organizational needs of the program. With confirmed leadership (Chair), forming the committee will be a priority to then direct the efforts to the prescribed areas of attention including: 1. Stakeholder involvement / Partnership Building - building broad-base support from the public and private sector in the community by developing specific initiatives that bring the community together to invest time and resources in the revitalization effort. 2. Funding and Fundraising – Work with the community and Downtown stakeholders to define the opportunities to become contributors and financial partners in the program and specific projects or initiatives. 3. Communication and Community Relations – focused on promoting the revitalization effort and the Main Street program to keep the community informed and up to date and to build awareness and support. All these areas connect and depend on each other. Stakeholder involvement will increase and fundraising activities will find the support of the community with effective communication. Through a proactive work plan, the Organization Committee will establish a strong foundation in maximizing the opportunities to connect the community to the revitalization effort through a unified vision, well-defined opportunities to contribute time and resources, direct outreach activities, and comprehensive communication tools that educate, inform, and foster engagement. 1. Define, promote, and manage the opportunities for community involvement. Work with board and committees to outline the volunteer needs for each committee and project to develop adequate details or “descriptions” for volunteer opportunities. a. Develop a volunteer recruitment program. Beyond an opportunity to volunteer, incorporate a message that builds pride in supporting the revitalization effort and detailed information that outlines the needs and expectations. b. Develop outlined descriptions for leadership opportunities (forms, applications printed and placed online) and activities that build awareness, educate, and recognize the volunteer opportunities through Main Street. c. Incorporate volunteer training as an important educational tool for current and new volunteer leaders. Work with the state program and other volunteer building organizations to maximize all opportunities to build the volunteer leadership capacity. d. Include recognition of volunteers and partnership support as an important part of the organization’s committee annual work plan. e. Manage volunteer involvement. Tracking their time and incorporating its value as part of the in-kind contributions offered to the program. 2. Confirm funding support pledged during the application process and define strategies for additional contributions from other sectors in the community. Main Street promotes that downtown belongs to its community and that everyone shares the responsibility for its


vitality. As the Main Street Program grows, the Organization Committee can work with the other committees to develop a comprehensive fundraising plan to outline the needs as well as potential new sources for important projects in the revitalization process. Consider the following elements for a fundraising plan: a. Review current financial sources. Identify areas of improvement and outreach. b. Each respective committee will need to formulate the details for their project, hopefully through the planning process recommended. With your work plan outlined for each project, the Organization committee can work with staff and committees to identify what projects fit for funding from the public sector, which ones will need to come from the private sector, and which ones might have a combined investment from both sectors to determine the fundraising initiatives you will need to develop. c. Consider a “Friends of Downtown” type of program for individuals or families that are interested in supporting the program by making annual pledges or donations. d. Consider each of your stakeholders and develop a “Partnership” program that “packages” the investment opportunities fit their potential interests. Research your potential contributors to make the best fit about the appropriate recruitment tools.  A partnership package with opportunities for downtown businesses to invest in specific projects, including marketing initiatives, etc.  Sponsorship package for special events – with a “menu” of options for all and each of the events to approach potential funders through a “one-stop-one ask” approach rather than asking for sponsorship support several times during the year. Strive to make events self-sufficient and even productive enough to help with other promotion related initiatives or projects. We recognize that the program is working in increasing the sponsorship for special events. 3. Build internal and external communication to position the Main Street Program as a proactive connector with the following key priorities: a) Connect the Main Street Program WITH Downtown: A proactive effort has taken place to build the Main Street Program and achieve designation. However, in order to understand Downtown needs and effectively address them, direct connection with Downtown stakeholders that can further increase their involvement and leadership participation in the program will be a defining component for the success of the overall revitalization effort. b) Connect Downtown WITH Downtown. The Main Street Program can develop proactive opportunities to connect Downtown stakeholders and build a stronger sense of community and collaboration among each other. These can be combined efforts between more than one committee. c) Connect Downtown with the Community. To bring together all ages, new and longterm residents, workforce, and businesses, to increase awareness of downtown and its


growing vitality and support different elements such as shopping, restaurants, appearance/cleanliness, etc. Following are some specific examples to build these connecting efforts: a) Visitation Program – Developing a strong relationship of trust is an essential ingredient to connecting with Downtown entrepreneurs, particularly multicultural business and property owners. This can be best achieved through direct and regular personal contact. But rather than visiting to “tell” people what they need to change or fix, the focus will need to be on learning the local economic environment, listen to their input, and promote that the Main Street Program is an instrument of support intending to work “WITH” Downtown business and property owners to build a vibrant Downtown. An additional purpose for the visitation program is that of identifying potential new leaders for the revitalization effort. Make sure they also hear of the opportunities available and the need for their involvement. If not defined, these opportunities need to be outlined.  As the “go to” person, the Main Street Director needs to become the most familiar face for Downtown stakeholders. They need to recognize the Program Director as their liaison and the Main Street Program as their Downtown organization. To build strong relations, staff needs to spend a considerable amount of time - at least 50% - visiting Downtown businesses and meeting with property owners. We recommend defining a weekly calendar for time out and time in the office so that all stakeholders, leaders, and partners understand the opportunities available to meet with the Director. An ambitious goal in the Main Street Director’s work plan can be to know all the businesses by Dec. 31st, 2010.  Board members also have a role in a visitation program as their responsibility to offer a “representative voice” for Downtown. It will be important to define the opportunities that best fit with time availability for the board members. Consider quarterly visits by blocks or streets depending on established priorities and scheduled meetings with property and business owners that allow positive exchange of information and also time for individual interaction.  Committee leaders will also have particular interests in visiting with business and property owners in Downtown. Once relationships of trusts are in place, the Main Street Director can visit property and business owners with Committee Chairs to extend invitations to participate in a specific committee. Other appropriate formats for interaction will be through periodic meetings and activities that promote information updates or sharing of new and available resources. Fundraising efforts should not be considered part of a visitation program.


 As the Main Street Program grows, consider creating a Block Captain Program where potential leaders in each block support communication as the “ears and eyes” of each block or sector. b) Printed Materials – are important tools that can serve more than one purpose.  To start, develop a flier to support the visitation program. To start, consider a Main Street or Downtown flier that includes the vision for downtown, the mission and purpose of the Main Street revitalization program, ongoing and future efforts and opportunities for involvement contact for questions, etc. This effort can be part of the Organization Committee’s work plan.  A “This is Your Downtown” Newsletter – can be a tool developed in printed and online format (e-newsletters) that builds internal and regular connection while also promotes Downtown’s assets to the entire community. Ito also provides a source for feedback exchange among Downtown businesses Consider partnering with the City and County to help deliver these materials through already existing programs. Some Main Street Programs have also developed partnerships with local newspapers to include newsletters.  Highlighting new or long-term Downtown businesses or how Downtown products draw customers from regional market areas can help the community understand how existing businesses are sustaining Downtown’s economy and also strengthening the overall economic base of Dodge City.  Highlighting a building with architectural features or recent renovation efforts can educate the community about Downtown’s rich historic character and architectural value.  Highlighting special event and other activities can further promote the positive image of Downtown as a center of community activity. b) “Downtown Column” in local newspapers and other organizations’ newsletters. c) “Downtown Message” that can be developed in partnership with other organizations include water bill, bank withdraw/deposit slips. c) Online Tools – the most convenient and yet indirect way to update and share information. It should be used to support relations building through the visitation program and as a potential vehicle for feedback exchange among Downtown businesses. Except for the information promoting Boot Hill, our research shows that Downtown Dodge City lacks and active and defined online presence. In addition, references to the


existence of the Main Street program are only available through the supporting media releases, more specifically through the Dodge City Globe. Although online tools will help connect with additional audiences, it is important to consider this untapped resource for sharing ongoing information about the Main Street program. This can be a combined effort between the Organization and Promotion Committees supported by the proven related talents from EDC staff. Consider purchasing appropriate domains that can easily direct locals and visitors to information about Downtown Dodge and the Main Street Program [for example: downtowndodgecity.com, dodgecitymainstreet.com (or org), etc.]. Also recommend developing one or more online and social media tools including a Downtown Dodge Blog or an electronic e-newsletter, a facebook page and/or a twitter account for Downtown Dodge City to connect additional audiences including the student population of Dodge City. d) Networking & Educational Activities – can offer a casual environment for business to business connections and provide educational elements in support of small businesses. Depending on the interest, these activities can be monthly or Quarterly and also by business type or block as considered more appropriate.  Downtown Stakeholders Activities. Consider an “Out to” breakfast, lunch or dinner – depending on the group and most appropriate time for maximum participation. Work with downtown restaurants for discounted meal rate and with board and committee leaders to offer educational tools and downtown updates.  Walking Days. Invite City and County leaders to walk through downtown to keep them informed of the progress, needs, and opportunities and to connect them with the downtown stakeholders. Same can be done with leaders from other anchor organizations.  Youth Programs. The organization committee can work with the other committees on various initiatives that explore opportunities to incorporate Downtown as part of the educational curriculum for students of all ages. This includes working with the school district and individual schools in classroom presentations, architectural scavenger hunts, and specific activities during the events, cleaning projects, etc. Many Main Street communities have also developed specific “Junior Main Street”, Leadership or Ambassadors programs that engage youth in the Main Street program.  Also consider working with churches and places of worship to develop similar activities for families and older patrons to enjoy before or after services or during specific events or holidays. Some might include working with businesses to host “Sunday Bruch” type of activities. e) “Downtown Information Booth” at community events and other important activities.


f) Attendance to community meetings including City Council meetings, Police Task force, Diversity Committee and presentations to other groups that can further promote the revitalization effort. This can be done by staff and as part of board members and committee chair assignments. The Kansas Main Street Program will be supportive in your efforts by providing continued training and facilitating work planning sessions and other assistance as needed. In addition, please consider the strong network of over 2,000 communities embarked in similar efforts throughout the country. Your membership with the National and State Main Street Network allows you to connect directly with other communities in Kansas and through the national list serve to access additional resources and services. There are many examples of materials and additional information can be provided when you are ready to implement any of these recommendations. All these recommendations will require thoughtful planning and coordination between board, committees and partners and working with downtown businesses and property owners to produce a quality and comprehensive program everyone can be proud and be part of.

PROMOTION


PROMOTION Jeanne Stinson and Mary Helmer, Kansas Main Street Program The job of the Promotion Committee is to establish downtown Dodge City as an inviting place for shoppers, investors and visitors. This is accomplished by program activities that are designed to introduce your audience to the mix of businesses, to help businesses improve sales opportunities and to help your community rekindle excitement about the district. Your goal is simple and direct, help people know and enjoy the district while spending money at businesses! The Promotion Committee should work in three primary areas: Image Building and Marketing Campaigns The objective is to help build a positive image of the downtown through the use of various media and advertising campaigns. These campaigns need to focus specifically on promoting the authentic and unique aspects that make up your district. An effective promotion strategy for downtown Dodge City will demonstrate, capitalize and expand upon marketable assets and distinguishing features that include:      

Unique and authentic history – including early settlers, Wild West and multicultural roots. Local, hometown businesses and personalities offering products and services backed by personal service and local expertise. Historic buildings and resources that help to display Dodge City’s proud heritage and tell a story of how this community evolved. An interesting business mix that includes long-established retailers, service providers, Hispanic businesses, multi-cultural eateries, art galleries and shops and non-profits. Proximity to Boot Hill, the Carnegie, Depot (all key activity generators) The people who live and work in the district.

Using the above assets as a starting place, an effective marketing and promotion strategy must be developed through images, activities and events that: 

 

Capitalize on key activity generators and the mix of events already held in the district - adding new options to traditional activities that can either re-generate excitement for the activity or include a potential new audience that is then introduced to the district. Showcase and celebrate the downtown’s distinguishing features – multi-cultural opportunities, cowboy history and architecture. Celebrate the changes that are happening in the district, selling the promise and optimism for the downtown’s future – not just living off history but creating a new history for a new time! Inviting citizens and visitors to take their place in building this new story of downtown Dodge. Turn the district into an experience – let them live the experience not just see it. Anyone who has taken a child to Build-A-Bear Workshop knows what we are talking about. The company has created value for consumers by giving them experiences that linger in their memories long after the bear and his three outfits have been stashed in the back of the closet.


An example might be providing a takeoff of the History Channel Show Top Shot, where visitors can experience for themselves a bit of the old west as they shoot at targets and could possibly be in competition with a local “marshal” or other visitors.

Special Events These activities are designed primarily to attract people to fun or interesting events. These events do not necessarily produce immediate retail sales, although many restaurants and convenience businesses do report higher than usual activity during special events. The goal is to introduce new customer groups to the area and to provide added excitement and entertainment, while refocusing on downtown as the social center of the community. Often citizens and visitors return at a later date to shop and browse. Special events draw the community together as family and attract people to come to the downtown district to expose them to what downtown has to offer. Moreover, festivals and events that maintain a strong sense of “local flavor” can deliver powerful messages that provide emotional links to the past and nurture new downtown traditions and customers.  

  

Special events should showcase distinct features and expand the downtown’s “fun factor” by attracting people to participate in a broad range of sights, sounds and activities that collectively are part of the one-of-a-kind Dodge City experience. Build off of other existing events – those already being held in the district, or those that are being held at nearby venues. Discover ways for downtown to participate in and add value to those events, but always in a way that brings people into the district. Develop totally new events that build specifically off authentic history and present offering of businesses. Special events are the opportune time to think “family oriented”. To do that there must be food, fun and activities that each generation will enjoy. The key word in special events is special – think about what downtown Dodge City has that is “special” – they can experience this nowhere else in town, region or maybe state.

Retail/Business Sales These are business generating activities meant to generate income for downtown businesses. Effective retail or business promotions are successful by attracting people to shop and spend in the district. Local businesses must partner with you if these are to be successful. Building relationships with all downtown businesses is an important step in understanding and being able to meet the needs of those businesses. Don’t get stuck by the words “retail sales”. At some point during the year your activities should touch all businesses whether they sell goods or services. Typically there are three types of business/retail promotions: 

Cooperative Promotion – focuses on the comparative aspects of retailing the district, clustering stores that are in the same category and can be promoted together. • Examples – Spring Fashion Show (apparel stores is the category) • Taste of Main Street (restaurants/cafes/food service)


Health Fair (doctor’s offices, dentist offices, SRS offices, Farmer’s markets) Cross-retail Promotion – groups businesses with complementary goods in one retail event or in coordinated displays. • Joint window displays (clothing/shoes/jewelry) • Valentine promotion (jewelry/restaurant/B&B) • Home Improvement promotion of furniture and hardware stores Niche Promotion – focuses attention, not on the product mix, but on a specific consumer group targeted through specially distributed flyers, coupons, posters and/or media ads. • Appreciation Days for senior citizens • Employee coupons for downtown workers • After School Specials for students

One thing for Main Street Promotion Committees to keep in mind is that local businesses will have “Sales” when they need to clear merchandise and inventory from their businesses. It is neither necessary nor advisable for Main Street’s focus to be on sales. Loading your downtown promotional calendar with too many clearances, end-of-season and other discount orientated promotions may create a “cheap” or “left-over junk” image for your district. This is not a good strategy when competitors in the market are much more skilled and successful at deep discounting. Retail events avoid discounting in favor of unique downtown retail features such as convenience, service, variety, familiarity or exclusiveness. Do not sell yourselves as the only ones responsible for bringing people and customers to the district. Stores/businesses have the responsibility to get people into their doors – Main Street brings folks to the district, but businesses still have to carry inventory people want to buy, it needs to be displayed in a manner that makes it appealing, and customer service is still very important. Main Street is a partnership between the organization and the various entities that comprise the businesses within the district. Working together is the key. While we talk about working together, it is equally important to understand the relationship between committees within the organization. The Promotion Committee is simply a cog in the process – not the process. Economic Restructuring must work to know and understand the market; they need to understand who comprises the existing market that shops downtown now and also who the desired market may be. This knowledge base is used to expand or recruit appropriate businesses to the district, but it also needs to be shared with the Promotion Committee so that your activities are targeted specifically towards the appropriate audiences. The ER Committee must also work with local businesses to help them understand better merchandising techniques and better business methods to help them improve the bottom line. Better businesses result in more opportunities for shoppers and eventually in increased tax collections and property values. The Design Committee will help improve the physical side of the downtown district, which helps you sell the promise of future development. It is easier to promote a clean, well-maintained, safe downtown. The Design Committee may also be involved in reviewing your printed materials for Promotions as they are charged with being responsible for everything visual that leaves an impact on the district. That includes everything from the letterhead to the logo to advertising. At


the same time, Promotion needs to make sure that these designs are usable in the promotion of the district. So again, a symbiotic relationship. The Organization Committee will assist the Board of Directors in making sure that there is adequate budget to meet the needs of the committees as they strive to accomplish the goals set by the Board. They are also charged with assisting each committee in volunteer development and to “toot the horn of the Main Street organization itself. The last very important role of the Organization Committee is to lead the way in identifying and solidifying relationships with other potential partners in the downtown revitalization process. Observations and Recommendations: Ideas, suggestions and recommendations for Dodge City Main Street’s Promotion Committee marketing and promotion efforts contained in this report are based on resource team observations and promotion-related values articulated in the vision for downtown Dodge City. The recommendations are intended to offer direction for both short- and long-term strategies. Ideas for events and projects must be considered in proportion to the committee’s volunteer and financial resources – and its ability to expand those resources over the coming months and years. Observation: During our interviews it became quickly apparent that many downtown businesses were unaware of each other’s merchandise, which makes the act of referral impossible. In addition, many had never set foot in each other’s businesses. Comments: In an effort to grow a “downtown family” it is imperative that people get to know each other and become familiar with each other’s merchandise and services. Getting to know each other will help develop a level of trust and an ability to understand that there is strength in numbers. From looking out for each other, to reducing opportunities for graffiti, to business referrals and an opportunity to share ideas and work together towards common goals, knowing each other is the first step! Recommendations: 1. “Downtown Hand in Hand” This is simply a challenge, beginning with board members and all committee members, and then encouraging local downtown businesses owners to join in. The challenge here is to get out of your store/office/business at least once a week to shake the hand of one person you don’t know that is a neighbor in the downtown district. The purpose here is simply to meet each other and recognize that you do have common interests. This could be an activity that is led by the Organization or Promotion Committee or could simply be on the work plans for all committees. 2.

Block Party or Merchant Mingle – Phase 1 Just like it works in your neighborhoods at home, joining together for some fun and fellowship helps build camaraderie in your downtown district. This activity could really be done on the street, or perhaps it could circulate and be held in different businesses in the district. Food and fun should always be a part of the activity. If held in businesses, it gives the owner an opportunity to show off their merchandise and helps businesses get to know more about each other’s stores. This kind of activity can take the “scary” out of entering an unknown business alone.


Eventually, Main Street can use this format as a way of getting out information about upcoming events, activities and volunteering opportunities as well. It could also develop into or start a different forum where issues important to the businesses such as parking, safety, consolidated sales or open house dates are discussed and solutions are decided by the businesses. Block Parties – Phase 2 Once the people of the district are familiar with each other, it is time to reach out and start inviting specific market segments. For example, at the start of the school year you might want to introduce the Dodge City Community College students to the district. You could hold a block party for them in the district; you could have food and entertainment that is specific to their age group. Coupons or other incentives could be packaged to introduce them to where to buy their jeans, or sports shoes, or where to rent a tux for the formal and where to get a late night breakfast, etc. Have more than one venue so the students have to move through the downtown district. This same “block party” event can be recreated to meet the individual needs of several specific market niches.

3.

Another opportunity to get people involved and acquainted with each other is by working with your local police department to develop a Neighborhood Watch program for downtown. This would be a good idea and one that could generate some publicity for a “safe” environment and one that starts to outline to businesses that “we are in this together.”

Observation: During our interviews many folks admitted that they had not been shopping or even ventured into the downtown district other than perhaps for very specific destinations. The problem here seems not to be one of a negative image of downtown but rather of no specific image of downtown. Before efforts can be made to push shopping in the district, people need to be introduced to the district. Comments: The Downtown’s ability to capture a share of the local/regional consumer market will likely depend on the effectiveness of marketing and promotional strategies that are designed to target and attract key consumer market segments and that highlight and celebrate the district’s qualities and values as a center for history, heritage, culture, civic activities, entertainment events and local businesses. Recommendations: 1. Dodge City is blessed by having a number of ethnic groups that have selected downtown as a place to do business. Why not capitalize on this opportunity to show off some very unique businesses while at the same time offering a unique special event designed to help introduce the community to the district. “Flavor of Dodge City” could be a taste event based on samples of food and drink from many ethnic and cultural groups such as American Indian, Hispanic, German, African, “American” beef and even Cowboy beans. The important thing here is to identify as many different ethnic and cultural foods, but authentic to Dodge City tastes


as possible. This event should be held within the downtown district, and entertainment could easily be drawn from each of the “tastes” as well – so don’t confine your thinking to food – the Flavor of Hispanic culture could include art, dancing and music as well as food. Celebrate all things that make Dodge City the wonderful place it is! Put the whole package together. This could start small and develop into a signature event/multi-day event. 2. Putting together an advertising package that focuses on the products and services available in the downtown district. For example, putting together an ad that has as its theme “Everything from A-Z” then simply listing the Alphabet – A= Apparel, B=Baseball Bats, C=Catering, you get the picture. Another way to do this is to put the focus on specific merchandise categories. Jeans for example –“Did you know there are 2,000 pairs of jeans for sale at any given time in downtown Dodge? They come is sizes 0-54 long and everything in between. Need jeans? Try these outstanding downtown merchants names listed of places to buy jeans – (and yes they are participating in the cost of the ads). You can do the same thing listing financial services, art, shoes, bridal and prom niche, medical services, accountants – just start letting people know that there are businesses that have things they want and need. 3. Introduce small scale events to enhance downtown’s “entertainment factor.” Smaller promotional activities and events staged frequently in the downtown area can attract and create a heightened sense of the downtown as a place for entertainment. These smaller scale events can offer a sense of surprise and reinforce a sense of discovery for those who might encounter them during a routine trip to the downtown area. • • • • • •

Small scale street performances, perhaps by college or high school youth can provide a “sneak peak” of their performances at school. Providing a children’s rodeo, where youngsters can practice their “ropin” skills. This type of activity begins to build a sense of fun and memories related to downtown that can make an emotional tie to the district. Have gunslinger showdowns at sunset on Gun Smoke Street – provide the “hardware” so the event is safe . . . winners could be made official “marshals” of Dodge City. Support other organizations – such as United Way, sponsor a “Kiss the Pig” contest where citizens can vote with their pennies/dollars to see which city (or Main Street) official has to kiss the pig. Work with your car dealers to stage a “touch-a-car” event in the district with the person keeping their hand on the vehicle the longest taking it home. Celebrate with parades . . . homecoming, Veterans, Halloween, Christmas. Make up reasons to have a parade. Perhaps it is to recognize local industries, or a cattle drive with “float cattle” (not real ones), Rodeo Parade, Drovers Parade, just have fun with this one!


• • • • •

Have a look-alike contest for Gun Smoke characters or Wyatt Earp At the Christmas holiday – have “make and take” ornaments for school children based on your cultural diversity. Arts in the Streets – a hands on learning opportunity to learn about various art mediums and experience the thrill of creating; could also have demonstrations by/with local artists. Have a best “camp coffee” cook off – must be made in an old fashioned camp coffee pot over a fire. Offer different levels of prizes – perhaps one selected by a “jury” and another by popular vote. Western Art show or Hispanic Art show or African Art show or . . .

4. In conjunction with the Design Committee, develop events that highlight the local history, heritage and culture, possibly as a part of a local National Historic Preservation Awareness Month in May. Ideas, sample proclamations and suggestions for activities are listed on the National Trust’s website at www.nationaltrust.org and include: • • • • • • • • •

Host an open house to show off a historic building that has been recently restored or is in need of restoration. Hold a career day, inviting preservationists, architects, craftspeople, researchers and others to speak to students about their work. Organize a work project to clean up a historic town square, park or cemetery. Conduct a walking tour through a historic district. Collect “then and now” photos of your community and exhibit them in a public space such as the library or depot. Do an architectural scavenger hunt, highlighting specific building elements. Present preservation awards to those who have made a difference in your community. Hold a photo or architectural trivia contest. Bury a Community Time Capsule.

Observation: Downtown Dodge City features an eclectic mix of businesses, including retail establishments, eating and drinking places, service providers and professional offices. Comments: Marketing and promotion strategies should seek to go beyond “retail events” to increase awareness as to the complete range of products and services available from downtown businesses and to capitalize on traffic generated by non-retail establishments. Activities and events that are designed specifically as retail events should maintain the integrity of the downtown Dodge City “brand,” and might best be produced as complementary activities to special events or festivals, and/or to highly targeted key market segments. Recommendations: 1. Using the branding system as a framework, facilitate cooperative advertising programs and efforts to promote the full range of products and services available from downtown businesses. Examples include:


Working with local media to produce a “The Owner Is In” cooperative advertising campaign that features local businesses and personalities on a rotating basis, and emphasizes the advantages of doing business with locallyowned businesses (i.e., personal service, quality assurance, local expert advice, etc.). • Creating and distributing a special yellow pages-oriented downtown business director and calendar for local distribution and/or a “Shopping, Dining & Attractions Guide” for regional distribution and placement at visitor-oriented facilities and businesses. Have this resource available electronically as well – see if it can be show on the “local events” channel. 2. Organize downtown business networking activities and events that help build a “referral system” by broadening downtown employees’ awareness as to the variety of goods and services available from downtown businesses. This could be done as a social event by touring individual businesses or in conjunction with the Economic Restructuring Committee hosting a training opportunity following the tour. Perhaps on merchandising, or check cashing or other pertinent subject. 3. Encourage businesses to develop creative cross-marketing partnerships and arrangements that help to generate desirable pedestrian patterns and capitalize on traffic generated by both retail and non-retail establishments. Examples include: • Coupon for free dessert with filled prescription • Coupon for free jewelry cleaning with hardware store purchase • Free movie voucher with new bank account, mortgage or insurance policy • Furniture or appliance store gift certificate provided by realtor at closing 4. Work to introduce new, targeted retail activities or events that include elements of entertainment or education. Examples include: •

• •

A “Girls Night Out”, possibly tied to breast cancer awareness, would include elements of education about breast cancer and incorporates treats, entertainment and small novelty or premium items (i.e. pink ribbon pins, pink bracelets). Retail could participate by offering in store specials on pink items Family Night features old fashioned entertainment and carnival games. May include demonstrations on how to use products or services available in the downtown district. A “Downtown has Class” event staged around back-to-school, but offering special classes, such as “easy to pack, love to eat, school lunches”, a fall fashion show highlighting all the new school fashions and a class on how to tie scarfs, or other activities that showcase downtown products and services

Observation: Downtown Dodge City no longer serves as the only center of community life, but there is still a need and a desire to be part of the downtown action from the citizen’s viewpoint as demonstrated by attendance at the designation gathering, and other opportunities to come together as the Dodge City family.


Comments: Reintroducing individuals to the downtown district, including families, students, and visitors is an opportunity to begin to build personal relationships and memories that will last a lifetime. Utilizing natural or man-made gathering centers within the district will help draw and encourage pedestrian traffic. Locally owned businesses catering to special and everyday needs will help identify this as a gathering center. These features will also help promote a positive image for the downtown and enhance the community’s awareness of the downtown as a highly important and invaluable community asset.  Working in conjunction with the Organization Committee - Downtown Dodge City’s image enhancement and public relations efforts should highlight positive changes occurring in the downtown, especially those that offer glimpses of the vision becoming reality. Examples include: • Publicize, promote and celebrate downtown improvements, new business ventures and other positive changes through local new releases, newsletters, speaking engagements, website features, Facebook announcements, special ceremonies, photo opportunities and any other available means to promote positive perceptions about the downtown district. • Promote your strong partnerships in enhancing and maintaining the region’s quality of life issues. i. Facilitate, support and work with other organizations to stage community goodwill activities and events in the downtown area. - Placing “Toys for Tots” collection barrels at various downtown locations and businesses. - Working with the food bank by having people bring canned goods or other non-perishable food item as a price of admission for carriage rides or a children’s matinee. - Working with booster clubs at the high school or college to decorate the downtown in school colors during homecoming activities/celebrations. - Doing special events such as auctions, wine tasting, or other with the proceeds going to a local charitable organization. • Work with the Organization Committee to recognize and say “Thank You” to individuals and groups that are positively influencing the downtown business district.

MAIN STREET MARKETING TRENDS:

Here are a few marketing trends to consider when developing your Main Street marketing strategy:  Target your marketing efforts. Develop marketing messages to reach specific target audiences, such as baby boomers, office workers, tourists, etc. Remember, if you take aim at your target, you are more likely to hit it than if you take a random approach. Electronic target marketing is a cost-efficient tool that has great opportunity for growth.  Go high tech in your marketing efforts. Make sure your Main Street program has a website and that it is selling your commercial district as a destination for shopping, dining, living, visiting, and investing. Evaluate your homepage to ensure


that it is creative and interesting and that it provides current information. Be sure your website does more than explain the Main Street Four-Point-Approach™. It should market your district to meet your community’s unique local needs. In Frankfort, Kentucky, for example, the Main Street program has created a large email database and sends out “This Weekend Downtown” updates that include a calendar of events and timely tourism, retail, and entertainment opportunities.  Cross-promote. Cross-promote. Cross-promote. Downtown businesses and Main Street programs will become stronger in the marketplace when we combine marketing efforts on national, statewide, and regional levels and jointly promote Main Street as a destination.

MARKETING TIPS FOR YOUR MAIN STREET WEBSITE  The Main Street program homepage should be visually interesting and provide regularly updated information, such as your promotional and retail sales calendar, new business openings, and photographs. For example, Di Boyer, the former Vision Versailles (Ky.) manager, frequently posted photographs online in a feature called “The Downtown Scene.” The photos included office lunch parties, ladies shopping trips, sneak peeks at new merchandise, and farmer’s market treats being prepared at downtown restaurants.  Your website should list all district businesses, including hours, location, and contact information. It is best to organize the list according to niches, such as restaurants, entertainment, retail, service, etc. Most importantly, the Main Street website should link to all of these businesses.  Provide opportunities for “buy-in” to your local Main Street program. These may include membership, event sponsorships, and merchandise development. They can be as unique as your imagination.  Be sure you are well linked! There are many opportunities to link with other organizations, such as the National Trust Main Street Center, state and regional Main Street programs, state and local tourism websites, chamber of commerce websites, local media, local industry, area colleges and universities, local school districts, and local government services.  Ask your Main Street event sponsors to use e-mail signature lines to promote upcoming events. We all recognize the high utilization of e-mail so look for occasions to heighten visibility for events and generous donors. For example, ask the local bank that is sponsoring your Christmas parade to use the event logo on employee e-mail signature lines during the month of November.  At every opportunity, collect e-mail addresses to use for fund raising, special events, and promotional campaigns.  Market your Main Street program’s progress and investment through downloadable resources, such as electronic newsletters, annual reports, membership lists, streetscape plans, etc. These allow the public to view downtown progress and investment.


Conclusion: The long-term prosperity of downtown Dodge City, to an extent, will be dependent on the quality of marketing and promotion activities and the ability to appeal to a variety of consumer groups. High quality marketing and promotional activities, orchestrated to reinforce and build equity in downtown Dodge City’s distinguishable “brand”, to showcase the downtown’s special features and to highlight positive changes and new attractions, can effectively help build a positive image and affect positive changes in the market. The Dodge City Main Street program‘s Promotion Committee must work to devise a wellconceived marketing strategy and promotional calendar that will maximize local resources and build on existing assets. The success of future downtown and promotion efforts will lie with the committee’s ability to: ● ● ●

Build its capacity and work effectively to engage volunteers and stakeholders in marketing and promotion Capitalize upon existing assets and special features that identify downtown as a special place and as a destination Involve and work partnerships with other community groups and organizations in the planning and production of downtown events and marketing campaign activities.

A strategic approach to marketing and promoting the downtown district will seek to orchestrate activities and events that showcase its assets and demonstrate its important role as the center of community life. The following principles should serve to guide the committee efforts: 1. Quality over Quantity. The committee must make optimum use of its resources and partnerships with other groups and organizations in order to orchestrate high quality events and marketing efforts. The committee must also resist “demands” and desires to do more and more. Rather than spending time on 9 to 12 so-so events/activities, spend time completing 4 or 5 great events or products that convey a high quality image and set the standard for future downtown marketing and promotion efforts. 2. Balance. An effective marketing and promotion strategy for downtown will incorporate a balanced mix of activities in three general areas: a. Retail events and business promotion programs that help existing businesses and promote the full range of products and services available from downtown businesses. b. Special events that promote the downtown as the center of community life and that are designed to attract residents and visitors to have fun, explore, discover and experience the broad range of sights, sounds and activities that, collectively, are part of a one-of-a-kind downtown Dodge City experience. c. Image enhancement and public relations efforts that highlight positive changes and promote the downtown as a vibrant, caring, “community center” and gathering place for commerce, culture and social interaction. 3. Allow for adequate planning time: It takes time to properly plan, promote and stage a new promotional activity or event. In many cases, at least six months of planning time is


required; for major events, planning might begin up to one year in advance. Activities that are “rushed” often fail to meet expectations or generate the intended results. 4. Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan: The Promotions Committee must take time and adequate care to fully plan, detail and troubleshoot events and activities. A detailed work plan for each event or project should be used to coordinate marketing and promotion efforts with other organizations, and to solicit support and participation on the part of sponsors and businesses. A well-detailed work plan will also enable the committee to troubleshoot events in advance, to aid in post-evaluation of marketing and promotion efforts and to recruit new volunteers to help on project or task specific basis. 5. Partnerships: A variety of organizations and groups are actively producing community festivals. Strong partnerships with these groups must be established and maintained as a means of expanding the Promotion Committee’s capacity to market and promote downtown. Not every event or activity held in downtown has to be the responsibility of Main Street. Let others hold events and activities in the district with your support. The community of Dodge City has an opportunity to accomplish something so special! There is so much opportunity and so many raw materials for you to work with. The Promotion committee can and will play a key role in community efforts to establish an identity for downtown Dodge City as a great downtown – a downtown to see, to experience, to remember and a place to “Relive the Story” of the past, present and future!


Economic Restructuring


ECONOMIC RESTRUCTURING Todd Barman, Senior Program Officer, National Trust Main Street Center Fundamentally, the Economic Restructuring Committee is responsible for learning how good developments work and then improving how well Downtown Dodge City developments work. The Committee needs to understand and work to improve each individual property and business development as well as collective development of the Downtown Dodge City marketplace. To be successful, Downtown Dodge City needs to move beyond its past glory, and through realistic self-evaluation, identify what its commercial strengths are (or can be) and develop them. This fundamental development mindset and responsibility can be broken down into five more specific responsibilities: Phase 1: 1. Know the market. The Main Street Four Point Approach is an asset based economic and community development strategy. Downtown Dodge City’s key assets are its’ heritage assets (built and cultural history) and human assets (independent and local owners). Therefore, market knowledge must include those assets. Inventorying Downtown Dodge City properties and businesses but more importantly building relationships with the owners of those businesses and properties will aid the Economic Restructuring Committee in understanding and developing those heritage and human assets. Those assets can then be leveraged as commercial strengths and contribute to defining Downtown Dodge City’s market position, and that market position will shape how to develop partners, entrepreneurs, space, and customers (see below). Finally the Committee will need to transform knowledge of the market into proactive design of a dream marketplace. That design can take the form of a Downtown Dodge City Development Plan and should communicate a compelling vision of a fully built, fully leased, fully functioning, and successful future Downtown Dodge City marketplace. 2. Develop partners (with the Organization Committee). The Economic Restructuring Committee should take the lead on developing economic partners and assist the Organization Committee on connecting, influencing and collaborating with all Dodge City Main Street Program partners. 3. Start to develop entrepreneurs. Specializing in entrepreneurial development is necessary because independent and local owners are a key Downtown Dodge City asset and beneficial as a way to differentiate Main Street’s Economic Restructuring Committee from other Dodge City economic development players. The first step is to plant the seed for entrepreneurship and grow Dodge City’s entrepreneurial spirit/culture. Next, start, improve, expand, spin-off, and transition entrepreneurial ventures by creating and maintaining an entrepreneurial network and beginning to facilitate access to capital (existing capital). Then, attract entrepreneurs to the Main Street district and field entrepreneur inquiries.


Phase 2: 3. Continue to develop entrepreneurs. Continue starting, improving, expanding, spinning-off, and transitioning entrepreneurial ventures by providing personal training/coaching and continuing to facilitate access to capital (new capital). Next, become an incubator-withoutwalls, develop community-owned and supported businesses, and proactively recruit entrepreneurs. 4. Develop space (with the Design Committee). The Economic Restructuring Committee should take the lead on creating leasable and other space in Downtown Dodge City and assist the Design Committee on the economics of maintaining and improving space. 5. Develop customers (with the Promotion Committee). The Economic Restructuring Committee should take the lead on selling the Downtown Dodge City Development Plan to customers for that plan and assist the Promotion Committee on creating commercial brand awareness for downtown Dodge City. Simply put, development for the Dodge City Main Street Program, and for the Economic Restructuring Committee, is an organized effort to reposition Dodge City’s historic commercial district in response to an ever changing market. Economic Restructuring Committee efforts will help build the consumer and investor confidence that is necessary to achieve that development. Recommendations Phase 1 The following recommendations are intended for immediate implementation. Recommendation #1: Create and maintain a Downtown Dodge City property and business inventory. A property and business inventory will provide a foundation for describing, understanding, and restructuring the economy of downtown Dodge City. A downtown database will help Dodge City Main Street staff members and volunteers truly manage their downtown. With a database, they can better serve as an advocate for renting and selling downtown property. A database will aid in answering questions such as “does the property owner demographic mirror the business owner demographic?” They can better assist the community, realtors, developers, and new businesses in efficient site selection (they will not replace or compete with local realtors or brokers, just make referrals). Dodge City Main Street will want an inventory ready at hand in its own office, but it should be compatible with, if not a duplicate of, any inventories maintained by its’ economic development partners. For more information on this topic, check out the Downtown and Business District Market Analysis Toolbox at www.uwex.edu/ces/cced/downtowns/dma/1.cfm. Recommendation #2: Form personal relationships with all downtown property and business owners based on communication and mutual trust. This may require the establishment of a business relations team, a potential subcommittee of the Economic Restructuring Committee. If this important activity isn’t part of a team’s work plan, it won’t get done. Relate to them. Get to know them on a more personal level one-to-one. For example, take downtown property and


business owners to lunch (or breakfast, dinner, etc.). Property and business owners have to trust the Dodge City Main Street Program to take their interests into account as they work to revitalize the downtown. Open and thorough communication strategies will foster trust, which will be earned over time. By understanding property and business owners’ motivations and reasons for their decisions regarding their investments, the Economic Restructuring Committee can better tailor coaching (see below) to meet their needs as well as the revitalization program’s goals. This is the best way to get the owners who need assistance to accept assistance. Trust and credibility are both crucial ingredients for building business relationships. Credibility is the intellectual side (logic/mind) while trust is the visceral side (emotion/heart) of the relationship. The Dodge City Main Street Program’s collective credibility will be judged based on its resume, which can be communicated through an annual report. Quantitative data helps demonstrate ability but ultimately visible action will speak louder than words. The credibility of each individual representative of the program will also impact relationship building. Trust is more complicated. Credibility may be necessary for trust. However, the Dodge City Main Street Program collectively, or program representatives individually, can be judged credible without being trusted. Trust in business requires ongoing attention to the following: • Being open and transparent • Being empathetic (caring) • Being useful • Being dependable/reliable • Being visibly accountable • Building shared experiences The annual report, therefore, should also include references and testimonials, which can help corroborate and strengthen the organization’s reputation and instill trust by documenting the intangible. The Dodge City Main Street Program needs to communicate the value of all the things they do for the community that can’t be quantified – qualifying their successes in a convincing and compelling way. Consider creating a property owners committee (as a subcommittee to the Economic Restructuring Committee) to form personal relationships with and between property owners. This would provide an opportunity for property owners to network and discuss topics of mutual interest. Facilitate the development of personal relationships between building owners and their current and future tenants. The objective is for those relationships to become mutually beneficial business partnerships rather than just an exchange of space for cash. Provide lease assistance (technical first, although financial could always be Phase 2). Educate business and property owners about more collaborative approaches to leasing, including prorated or escalating leases and profit sharing leases. Learn mediation techniques and offer to assist with lease negotiation. Recommendation #3: Define Downtown Dodge City’s market position. Collaborate with the Promotion Committee to define and refine a market position for Downtown Dodge City. You must know the market to tap (profit from) the market. A market position statement identifies a district specialization or niche based on a primary set of goods and services offered and a primary consumer segment served. It distinguishes the district’s competitive advantage versus options like Wal-Mart, the Internet, but more directly like other commercial district destinations outside the downtown (an apples to apples comparison). Market position is relative so downtown’s competition will need to be identified and understood. It is important to stress that


the Economic Restructuring Committee must define Downtown Dodge City’s position in the market it will go after (from a position of strength) not the market it will settle for (from a position of weakness). As was mentioned above, Downtown Dodge City’s heritage and human assets can be leveraged as commercial strengths and contribute to defining Downtown Dodge City’s market position. Authentic heritage is the key. “Western” and “Gunsmoke” are certainly at the forefront when discussing Dodge City’s heritage. However, from a market position perspective, Gunsmoke was never filmed in Dodge City and Downtown Dodge City has lost a lot of its western heritage resources. It is not authentic to manufacture that heritage for tourists. But what about the essence of the “Western” and “Gunsmoke?” The fundamental elements may still be present and could be authentically offered and enhanced. In other words, develop the essence/feel not just the look. The Resource Team brainstormed the following possible elements: • Frontier, wilderness • Cowboys, horses, cattle • Rough and tumble, gunslingers, danger • Law and order on the edge of the wilderness, taming the wild • Simple clear justice, clear good guys and bad guys • Pioneers, entrepreneurs • Decision and action The 2016 Vision for Downtown Dodge City states “Downtown Dodge has embraced their multicultural, immigrant beginnings by welcoming ethnic, western, and traveler related businesses, many with ‘made in Dodge’ authenticity. The various venues available in downtown showcase the arts and talents of the region; music, dance, re-enactments, farmers market, Boot Hill Museum, the Santa Fe Depot and theatrics all play a role in educating and entertaining local citizens, students and visitors to the community. There has been growth and expansion in the arts, retail venues and public museums. Many buildings have been restored to their historic integrity; the infrastructure to the district has been improved allowing for upper floor housing development in a true mixed use district that features high occupancy in niche retail, professional, financial, and government arenas along with meeting space and a learning center supported by Dodge City Community College.” This Vision includes elements of an ideal or future market position. However, Downtown Dodge City’s working market position (which can change over time) must represent reality so that downtown lives up to expectations; expectations shaped by efforts of the Economic Restructuring Committee (with help from the Promotion Committee) based on that market position. In other words, they will want to be able to deliver what they promise as relates to Downtown Dodge City’s market strengths. Over time, and with the strategic efforts of Dodge City Main Street (developing entrepreneurs, partners, space, and customers), the reality of the market position statement will move closer to the ideal of the vision statement. Recommendation #4: Make ongoing targeted market research part of Downtown Dodge City’s operations. The key to success is to design your research to answer specific questions. First, target your market research efforts to answer questions about primary goods and services offered and primary consumer segments served by the district (to define and refine Downtown Dodge City’s market position). “Who should we sell to (collective target customer) and what should we


sell (collective target concept)?” Next, answer market questions to inform Downtown Dodge City’s development decisions: •

“What sort and how much space do we need?” to define and enhance Downtown Dodge City’s collective target concept. • “What sort and how many businesses do we need?” to define and enhance Downtown Dodge City’s collective target concept. • “What are customer perceptions, preferences, and brand awareness?” to evaluate and shape Downtown Dodge City’s target marketing (past, current, and future visitors to boot hill and downtown). • “What are our partners doing to develop space, businesses and customers?” to achieve synergy between the Main Street program’s development and theirs. A lot of communities hope that a market analysis can dictate which businesses have the potential to be successful. Market opportunities are often “calculated” one business at a time based on generic classifications of business types. However, business success is determined by the differentiated product/service, not the generic; and the collective, not the individual, determines commercial district success. Successful developers lease their space to create the right combination and critical mass of businesses to attract the available customers. They use the numbers (e.g. demographics) to determine their position in the regional and local markets and to ensure there are enough of the right customers available for the assembled businesses to break even or better. They research the market they will go after (from a position of strength) not the market they will settle for (from a position of weakness). Creating a critical mass of businesses that are not only present but open (strategic hours of operation) will be necessary for Downtown to draw local Dodge City residents. The Economic Restructuring Committee should provide business coaching (see below) to build the capacity of downtown businesses to pose and answer questions to inform their own decisions. For example, answering the question of what products and/or services to offer. Every Downtown Dodge City business should craft their own market position statement and perform their own ongoing targeted research. Help existing businesses identify ways to sell more products and services to existing customers, respond to market trends, and identify new customers and ways to attract them. Finally, help businesses stay tuned to the ever-changing market. Keep a finger on the pulse of the local economy and give status reports to Downtown Dodge City property and business owners. That task is most easily accomplished by following the health of district indicator businesses. Enlist the aid of a small select subset of businesses that are willing to share information that can indicate the relative health of Downtown Dodge City’s business mix. That subset should represent the ethnic diversity of Downtown Dodge City’s business owners. Ask those businesses whether their sales are up or down from the same time last year, by what percent (given a range), whether foot traffic in the district is up, whether there has been a shift in the makeup of customers they are seeing. Choose businesses where you could argue “as they go, so goes the district”; these are often your anchor businesses. Track trends throughout the district and the community related to property values, prevailing rents, space availability, and sales tax revenues. Communicate what you find, but be sure to respect the confidentiality of your sources.


The Dodge City Main Street Program will receive market research assistance courtesy of the Kansas Main Street Program. Step-by-Step Market Analysis, a book available through the www.mainstreet.org bookstore, or the Downtown and Business District Market Analysis Toolbox at www.uwex.edu/ces/cced/dma/index.html, both include an overview of how to collect market data and analyze it. Finally, there have also been many useful articles on this topic in Main Street News over the years, many of which are available online at www.mainstreet.org. Recommendation #5: Create a Downtown Dodge City Development Plan. Downtown Dodge City will not thrive thinking one property at a time, one business at a time, or one lease at a time. Impulsive and independent development results in weaker marketplaces than strategic and cooperative development. The development plan should include strategies for leasing; clustering current and future businesses within the mix to positively impact foot traffic and sales. A business’ placement on the street strongly affects its chances of success. The Economic Restructuring Committee can make this fun by thinking of business clustering as a board game (like Monopoly). Have fun rearranging all the properties, even changing the properties, as a creative brainstorming exercise. This is a spatial exercise and should include a map or model of the downtown. The following clusters were brainstormed by the Resource Team for development consideration: • • • •

Restaurant cluster (including independently owned and authentic ethnic restaurants) Specialty food cluster (including bakeries and authentic ethnic food) Fashion cluster (including authentic ethnic and western clothing) Art cluster (including authentic ethnic and western visual and performance art-local materials, themes, inspiration) • Government and professional services cluster • Entertainment and recreation cluster (engage the customer so they can “touch” the essence of the “Western” and “Gunsmoke, create experience, lasting memories) o Gambling (satellite location for Casino, with shuttle, specializing in period gambling such as Poker) o Gaming (arcade, youth friendly “saloon” where they can learn and play Poker and other card games) o Gun shop o Stable (could showcase/advertise area ranches) o Tack o Firing range (period guns) o Laser tag, paint ball gunfights o Movie theater that shows old westerns and episodes of Gunsmoke for the tourists and first run movies for local residents o Western saloon for adults, microbrewery Other business concepts brainstormed by the Resource Team that could strengthen Downtown Dodge City’s business mix include: • • •

Western book store, western literature Pharmacy Public restroom


Implementation of the development plan will of course be incremental, but before each step, the individual “developer” will hopefully think about the collective goal of a strong marketplace. Unlike mall managers and shopping center directors, the Dodge City Main Street Program may not have the power to actively cluster businesses through lease management. Therefore, for the majority of independently owned property within downtown Dodge City, the Main Street program must be strategic and patient. The Economic Restructuring Committee will need to be more creative than the competition and subtly influence where businesses locate. Two-way communication about the financial benefits of following a clustering plan is the key to success. (see www.uwex.edu/ces/cced/dma/18.html for more information). Encourage business relocation. The axiom for real estate has always been location, location, location. The fact is that locating a business downtown is simply not enough. Many Downtown Dodge City businesses are not located to advantage. They need to be clustered and should consider moving closer to businesses that complement. This is easiest in situations where the business is leasing its space, but is not impossible even if the business owns its building. Building owners have been known to swap buildings to better locate their businesses. The Economic Restructuring Committee should also inventory and evaluate independent, locally owned, and entrepreneurial businesses throughout Dodge City that would be a better fit for downtown. Healthy clusters benefit from having traffic-generating businesses (anchors) that attract the most customers to the cluster or district. If successful in getting travelers to park and get out of their car, the district needs to be designed in such a way as to compel the shopper to stroll past as many storefronts as possible. Like the layout of shopping malls, the idea is to attract customers to the downtown by the anchor businesses, find parking near that anchor, and then stroll from the anchor to other downtown businesses and attractions that fit their cluster of interest. Downtown Dodge City anchors include: •

Boot Hill (ability to serve as an anchor would be enhanced by relocating the entrance as proposed in the Master Plan) • Depot • Library • Post office, city hall, county complex • Churches • Adaptive reuse of Old City Hall (as a restaurant, Internet lab, or cultural center) With a strong market position/brand, parking can also work well located near the gateways to downtown. Anchors also include residential units and employers. If I can walk or bike between where I live and work, and if that path takes me past downtown storefronts, I am a downtown customer waiting to happen. Downtown Dodge City needs a stronger sense of arrival. The concept of a gateway is more than just an architectural feature. It includes all the visual cues that tell people traveling along Wyatt Earp Boulevard that it is time to park, get out of the car, and walk; time to experience the downtown on foot. Because of commercial development along the entire length of Wyatt Earp Boulevard, and because a parking lot sits between the boulevard and the downtown (like a strip mall layout), travelers may not realize they have just passed through the downtown. Either that or they may not be attracted by what they see of the downtown. The following are


common landscape cues or visual triggers that communicate “Downtown” without requiring a sign: •

Major intersections (stop lights). The logical entrance to downtown off Wyatt Earp Boulevard, 2nd Street, is currently closed. The Resource Team believes that opening up 2nd Street may be the best way of reconnecting downtown with Wyatt Earp Boulevard. Downtown Dodge City businesses need traffic (calmed traffic). Traffic is what makes a retail location a successful location and a sought after location. Location, location, location. • Building density (density typically increases as we approach a downtown) and setback (buildings typically move closer to the sidewalk as we approach a downtown). The Downtown Dodge City development pattern, along Wyatt Earp Boulevard in particular, would be stronger with a zero setback and parking along the street or to the rear in order to complement the historic downtown development pattern and to provide a stronger streetwall for this entrance/gateway. While it is not realistic to think Dodge City will give up all the parking between Wyatt Earp Boulevard and downtown, infilling zero setback zero separation buildings along a reopened 2nd Street would help cross the parking lot divide (visually and physically). • Building height (buildings typically get taller as we approach a downtown). Downtown Dodge City has building height, but that height is not as apparent from Wyatt Earp Boulevard due to the parking lot divide. Again, infilling two-story buildings along a reopened 2nd Street would help cross the parking lot divide (visually and physically). • Building age/quality (buildings typically get older and exhibit higher quality materials and details as we approach a downtown). Age cannot be manufactured and should not be faked, but infill development should make a point to exhibit higher quality materials and details. • Pedestrian amenities (downtown commercial districts typically welcome pedestrians) and sidewalks (downtown commercial districts typically have sidewalks where strip commercial developments don’t) with furniture and pedestrian scale lighting (downtown commercial districts typically have pedestrian scale lighting while strip developments don’t). Work to improve the downtown streetwall through building improvements and infill (with Design committee). Many portions of downtown Dodge City are not easy or pleasant for pedestrians to shop and stroll. It is important to create a pleasant sequence of storefronts – when strollers reach an interruption they will often stop and turn around. Interruptions can take many forms including building faces without storefronts or entrances, storefronts without businesses or window displays, pocket parks, parking lots, and buildings set too far back from the sidewalk. The readers of this report are encouraged to also read Paco Underhill’s Why We Buy and Call of the Mall to learn about the secrets of retail design and the rules behind how we shop. Consider kiosk and push cart businesses for locations where the streetwall has interruptions. Recommendation #6: Develop economic partners. The Economic Restructuring Committee should convene regional economic development players at least quarterly in what could be described as an economic summit. Use the summit to position Economic Restructuring in relation to local and regional economic development, serve as a voice for downtown in larger community development conversations impacting downtown, and champion the value of


downtown commercial development as compared to other commercial development. Partner with providers of economic development resources by serving as a liaison between them and Downtown Dodge City property and business owners. Cooperate rather than compete with other Dodge City commercial districts which will be easier when each district has a distinct market position. Finally, strengthen the connection between the City’s comprehensive plan and Main Street’ work plan. The Dodge City Main Street Program is a great vehicle for implementing the downtown portion of the comprehensive plan. Recommendation #7: Start to develop entrepreneurs. As was mentioned in the introduction to this Economic Restructuring section, specializing in entrepreneurial development is necessary because independent and local owners (of property and businesses) are a key Downtown Dodge City asset and beneficial as a way to differentiate Main Street’s Economic Restructuring Committee from other Dodge City economic development players. Establish the Dodge City Main Street Program as an entrepreneurial development organization – either as the only local entrepreneurial development organization or in partnership with other local organizations (e.g. the Chamber with their Young Professionals Group). Developing entrepreneurs will not only reestablish the economic health but also the social health of downtown. More locally-owned properties and businesses, more family owned and operated businesses, and more independent owned businesses will translate into more civic minded owners. It will also reinforce Downtown Dodge City as the center of commerce, culture, and community life. The majority of owners that are attracted to historic commercial districts are independent mom & pop entrepreneurs with some existing tie to the community that are ready to plant roots and grow. Dodge City is somewhat unique in the Midwest in that downtown is also attracting immigrant entrepreneurs. There is no better place than the whole of downtown to serve as incubator; an incubator-without-walls. This is downtown’s heritage. •

Plant the seed for entrepreneurship and grow Dodge City’s entrepreneurial spirit/culture. Begin a public education campaign about the value of homegrown businesses, local and independent ownership, and entrepreneurship. It may be necessary to tend the seed of entrepreneurship in downtown property and business owners (not all are entrepreneurial). The Resource Team’s working definition of an entrepreneur is a property or business owner who is always tinkering with their investment in an effort to improve. Celebrate and showcase entrepreneurial activity and get entrepreneurship into Dodge City schools (elementary on up). Suggested strategies include: o Talk with staff at the Dodge City Daily Globe about including a regular feature column on the “Downtown Entrepreneur of the Month.” Economic Restructuring Committee volunteers can write these features and provide them as press releases. o Hold ribbon cutting ceremonies for important downtown entrepreneurial events (e.g. a grand opening or anniversary, the purchase of a property, the rehabilitation of a property). o Host open houses to showcase successful entrepreneurs and their investments. o Partner with the school district and the Youth Entrepreneurs of Kansas (a new High School class). o Encourage downtown entrepreneurs to make presentations to school kids as part of school curriculum. This could be partnered with a field trip to the actual property or business.


o Develop a high school job shadowing program. Make sure job shadow sites are the properties or businesses of true entrepreneurs and make sure to time the visit to expose the student to the entrepreneur’s tinkering. Start, improve, expand, spin-off, and transition entrepreneurial ventures. Phase 1 of fulfilling this responsibility involves creating and maintaining an entrepreneurial network and beginning to facilitate access to capital (existing capital). o Create and maintain an entrepreneurial network. Begin proactively connecting with local and regional entrepreneurs and prospects. This is a challenge because these individuals may not see themselves as entrepreneurs and may not be part of the mainstream (especially immigrant entrepreneurs). The key is to take advantage of every opportunity where entrepreneurship is being celebrated and showcased and to provide Dodge City Main Street Program contact information for additional information. Each and every individual who makes an inquiry should be put on the “entrepreneurship mailing list” and efforts should be made to maintain regular, meaningful contact. Connect new entrepreneurs with both another new entrepreneur and a successful entrepreneur (mentor). It can make all the difference in the world for new entrepreneurs to be able to talk with someone who is in the same boat. In the same way, it is important to be able to talk with someone who has already made it. Suggested strategies include:  Large group meetings/entrepreneur clubs. Partner with the Chamber’s Young Professionals Group.  One-to-one meetings (like Big Brothers/Sisters). Partner with major employers. Spouses of employees recruited by Dodge City’s major employers may be prospective new business owners. The key is finding the right “Big Brother/Sister” (mentor).  Host entrepreneur chat rooms and list serves.  Contact high school alumni. Many alumni email/mailing lists are extensive. Alumni who have left the region may have made their fame and fortune as entrepreneurs and may be ready to come back home. Even if they don’t come home, their story could serve as inspiration and they may be willing to mentor.  Inventory hidden or home-based talents. Put them on the “entrepreneurship mailing list” and maintain regular contact. Foster growth of this talent (e.g. by creating or expanding social clubs based on those talents or through supportive infrastructure like commercial kitchens).  Don’t forget to include downtown property and business owners that are entrepreneurial on the “entrepreneurship mailing list” and maintain regular, meaningful contact with them as well. Begin to facilitate access to capital (existing capital). Identify and communicate all human and financial capital available to develop entrepreneurs. Be knowledgeable of all existing technical and financial assistance resources and providers and make referrals. Walk prospects through the entrepreneurial process (literally). Suggested strategies include: o Develop a “Being an entrepreneur in Dodge City” brochure. Develop a brochure to market the availability of all assistance including the assistance available


through partners (e.g. revolving loan fund, façade improvement loan, neighborhood revitalization program, historic rehab tax credits). Develop a simple “entrepreneurial venture start-up checklist” that provides local, state, and federal contact numbers entrepreneurs will need as well as other information pertinent to establishing a business. Host an Entrepreneur Workshop. Use local service business owners or employees as instructors. Have resource materials (e.g. publications on developing a business plan, marketing on a shoestring, etc.) available to check out. o Foster networking between technical and financial assistance providers such as quarterly roundtables or through the economic summits discussed above. o Develop a marketing campaign to get the word out to the right people, including individuals on the “entrepreneur mailing list.” Attract entrepreneurs to the Main Street district and field entrepreneur inquiries. The best way to find today’s and tomorrow’s entrepreneurial property and business owners is to let the world know how attractive you are and let them find you. By identifying and promoting downtown’s assets, including the success of the Main Street program, the Economic Restructuring Committee will essentially create an entrepreneur attraction program. The public needs to see and hear about the entrepreneur-friendly efforts of all four of the Main Street committees. Projects from all Four Points have the ability to make the downtown more attractive to entrepreneurs and the employees they need. Efforts by the Organization Committee to develop partners will result in everyone working toward the same vision for downtown. Efforts by the Design Committee to develop space will result in a downtown that is in top physical shape. Efforts by the Promotion Committee to develop customers will result in a downtown that is the center of commerce, culture, and community life. Efforts of the Economic Restructuring Committee to develop entrepreneurs will result in downtown properties that offering a return on investment and businesses that are busy with the potential to be busier. In other words, what Downtown Dodge City needs most is a successful base of existing entrepreneurs supported through a visible entrepreneurial development program along with effective organization, design and promotion activities that help entrepreneurs make more money. Communities and districts that have these ingredients are preferred over those that don’t. Don’t forget to be prepared to field investor/entrepreneur inquiries. Those inquiries will increase with an organized entrepreneur attraction program.

Phase 2 The following recommendations are intended for future implementation. Recommendation #8: Continue to develop entrepreneurs. Continue starting, improving, expanding, spinning-off, and transitioning entrepreneurial ventures. Phase 2 of fulfilling this responsibility involves providing personal training/coaching and continuing to facilitate access to capital (new capital). •

Create a Downtown Dodge City Personal Business Trainers Team. It is no longer good enough to simply retain existing businesses in an effort to prevent new vacancies. The Economic Restructuring Committee needs to help current entrepreneurs improve, expand, spin-off, and transition. Furthermore, existing successful entrepreneurs are the best


prospects for starting new businesses. Personal trainers provide people who are looking to get into better shape with exercises, coaching, and motivational development. The Downtown Dodge City Personal Business Trainers could similarly provide downtown entrepreneurs who are looking to get into better shape with best business practices to try, coaching, and a little bit of motivational development. Business coaching is the preferred approach or tactic for an organization like Main Street to provide business assistance. Proactively promote business coaching services to entrepreneurs who may want to reposition in response to the Downtown Dodge City Development Plan (see Recommendation #5 above) by adjusting the products and/or services they offer. Coaching steps from Civic Trust, BizFizz (www.bizfizz.org.uk) include: o Helping entrepreneurs follow their passion. o Helping entrepreneurs sort through the many ideas buzzing around their heads. o Helping entrepreneurs get past their own self-limiting beliefs. o Helping entrepreneurs trust their own instincts, make their own decisions, and learn to view setbacks as feedback rather than failure. o Helping entrepreneurs find most, if not all, of the answers and resources they need to move forward. The Economic Restructuring Committee could also “adopt” a business each month. Offer to serve as a creative “think tank” and sounding board. Help willing (and self selecting) entrepreneurs brainstorm “crazy” improvement ideas that they are free to take or leave. Committee members could visit the business or shop there as homework prior to their next regular meeting. The agenda for that meeting would include brainstorming time and representatives of the adopted business would be invited to attend. If an entrepreneur chooses to try just one idea and it pays off, it will be well worth the Committee’s time, and they will have a stronger relationship with that entrepreneur. •

Continue to facilitate access to capital (new capital). Where there is a gap in access to capital or other incentives for development of entrepreneurs, expand and supplement. However, you don’t want to duplicate or compete with assistance already provided by another provider. Why Not Dodge (CFAB) may be a great vehicle for the creation of new incentives for developing entrepreneurs. The key would for any new incentive to meet that program’s criteria to promote and/or preserve the western heritage of Dodge City and Ford County, and to promote tourism while attracting visitors and conventions to the area. Both are right up Main Street’s alley, so the Resource Team brainstormed the following possibilities: o Funding for targeted market research that informs economic and tourism development decisions o Funding for a downtown branding campaign o Funding for buying down rents for tourism business startups, improvements, relocations, transitions, expansions, and spinning-offs o Funding for a business plan contest o Funding for a transportation system connecting visitor attractions o Funding to adaptively reuse old city hall (also an incentive for development of space) Tie business incentives to business guidelines (require adherence). Business guidelines would “set the bar” for business greatness in Downtown Dodge City. They could include ideal hours of operation, frequency of window display turnover, customer service,


referral, etc. It is in the best interest of property owners and the businesses themselves to make adhering to business guidelines part of any lease. •

Become an incubator-without-walls. When the Dodge City Main Street Program is ready to more proactively incubate entrepreneurs, they should view the webinar Main Street Incubators available from the National Trust Main Street Center or Cautionary Tales of Main Street Incubators (available at www.fleetwoodonsite.com/product_info.php?cPath=140_141&products_id=3760) Develop community-owned and supported businesses. When the Dodge City Main Street Program is ready to be entrepreneurial, they should contact Mary Helmer for more information from the Property and Business Development workshop held August 6, 2009 and read the Main Street Now article “Community-owned Businesses: How Communities Become Entrepreneurs” (March/April 2010). Proactively recruit entrepreneurs. When the Dodge City Main Street Program is ready to more aggressively pursue entrepreneurs, they should read the publication Fill-in-theBlank Business Recruitment: A Workbook for Main Street Business Development (www.preservationbooks.org/Bookstore.asp?category_id=76&Item=1349). While not written specifically for entrepreneur recruitment, many of the strategies still apply.

Recommendation #9: Develop Space. The Economic Restructuring Committee with help from the Design Committee, should directly develop space; including leasable space and public improvements that will generate increased business activity, rents, and property values. They should also indirectly influence private improvements that help property owners lease their spaces and business owners marry their design concepts with their business concepts and improve in-store merchandising and window displays. They can help determine how alternative designs and locations will affect project marketability and profitability, and determine how much money property owners should spend on building rehabilitation projects (so that rents don't increase too quickly/outpace the market). They can stimulate and guide private development of space through technical and financial incentives. As with incentives for development of entrepreneurs, the first step is to identify and communicate the incentives that are already available (e.g. revolving loan fund, façade improvement loan, neighborhood revitalization program, historic rehab tax credits). The next step would be to create new incentives to fill gaps in what is offered. Again, Why Not Dodge (CFAB) may be a great vehicle for the creation of new incentives for developing space such as: •

Funding for a parking study and/or a parking management and development system that supports visitors • Funding for a wayfinding system • Funding to adaptively reuse old city hall (also an incentive for development of entrepreneurs) Sometimes the best incentive is a lack of disincentive. Therefore, it is also important to review zoning, codes, ordinances, assessment/mil rates with an eye toward how they impact the development of space. Explore the potential for downtown residential space development. A fun and effective way to market and showcase residential opportunities is to host a tour of upper floor spaces and spaces ripe for adaptive reuse. If the private development community is unwilling or unable to


take the lead, the Dodge City Main Street Program should consider taking on the role of developer for the first such project to get the ball rolling and to provide an example. This is called Community Initiated Development (CID). A project of relatively modest scale would be good practice. Search out CID training. Donovan Rypkema’s Community Initiated Development: A Manual for Community-Based Real Estate Development is available from Preservation Books (http://www.preservationbooks.org/Bookstore.asp?Item=1342). Work with Mary Helmer, Kansas Main Street, to explore the potential for financial assistance. Finally, work to improve the downtown streetwall through property improvements and infill (with Design committee). This recommendation was introduced earlier in connection to the Downtown Dodge City Development Plan, but is worth repeating here. Recommendation #10: Develop Customers. The Economic Restructuring Committee should take the lead on selling the Downtown Dodge City Development Plan to customers for that plan; namely potential reviewers, funders, and tenants. In other words, sell potential investors on their ability to become part of a successful marketplace and MAKE MONEY. Successful developers are good at communicating their development vision using verbal descriptions, architectural renderings, and diagrams/schematics. That is why they are able to get approval, attract investors, and lease space even before they break ground. Downtown Dodge City needs to use similar tools to attain similar results. Architectural renderings showing improved buildings occupied by new businesses would be another powerful tool. The Economic Restructuring Committee should assist the Promotion Committee on creating commercial brand awareness for Downtown Dodge City. Promotion efforts are economic development efforts; developing brand recognition (image campaigns), traffic building activities (special events), sales generating activities (business promotions). Targeted new promotions and retargeted existing promotions can be used to instill commercial brand awareness for Downtown Dodge City in the minds of potential customers. Positive commercial brand awareness will increase the probability that customers will choose Downtown Dodge City when selecting a shopping destination. As mentioned earlier, the Promotion Committee should be involved in defining Downtown Dodge City’s market position since that position will form the foundation for a marketing plan and market-driven promotions and provide direction/inspiration for the branding message. To oversimplify this, if Downtown Dodge City were to design an ad for local Dodge City residents, what message would that ad attempt to communicate? The Dodge City Main Street Program will need to collectively settle on a single brand in which they will invest their volunteer and financial resources to strengthen and promote. Before communicating the chosen brand, they must be sure they have developed enough assets and are prepared to fulfill expectations created. Businesses, current and future, will likewise need to co-brand themselves with the Downtown Dodge City brand in order to survive and thrive. Business and district sustainability requires finding ways to continue promoting and building brand awareness between Downtown Dodge City’s signature events. It also requires scripting the customers overall experience; appealing to all senses. Tailor promotional activities to attract target customer segments (types and timings), and help existing businesses do the same. The Promotion Committee can be a valuable partner when providing business coaching by helping businesses with their individual marketing, advertising, and in-store promotions;


including experienced-based retailing. Partner with the Convention and Visitors Bureau’s hospitality program. Hospitality is important to every community, but crucial to communities like Dodge City that rely on visitors. While customer service is the individual relationship between one business and their customer, hospitality is the collective relationship between all of Dodge City’s businesses and visitors to Dodge City. Develop a training and incentive program for Dodge City’s front line employees. Good hospitality includes all the typical and important customer service techniques plus welcoming visitors as guests to your community even if they aren’t your customers, demonstrating pride in your community, giving good directions (including knowing major landmarks/attractions), knowing your community (including current and upcoming local events), and making referrals. See www.ncsu.edu/tourismextension/otherresources.html#HospitalityCustomerServ for more detail. Create a FAM (familiarization) Tour for front line employees to show them the virtues of downtown. To put it bluntly, downtown will lose business if the front line employees of gas stations, fast food restaurants, etc. on the edge of town don’t know downtown or worse tell visitors there is nothing downtown worth visiting. Downtown business owners should consider providing concierge discounts/commissions when those employees make referrals to their business.


DESIGN


KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY

Design - Downtown Dodge City

2010

Introduction esign activities within the Main Street Approach to Downtown Revitalization aim to have a comprehensive positive effect on historic commercial areas. Design activities enhance the physical appearance of the commercial district by implementing each of the following: •Rehabilitating historic buildings so that their historic character shines through.

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•Using high quality design in marketing whether it is in merchandise displays in storefront windows, merchandise displays in store interiors, signs, advertisements, or banners, etc. •Planning the use of land so that it best meets the needs of downtown businesses such as placing parking in the best locations, reserving open space where it is needed, and encouraging construction of appropriate new infill construction where open land is not best for downtown businesses. •Using good design in the creation of sidewalks and parking areas so that shoppers are contented pedestrians and will walk from business to business in pursuit of a great shopping experience.

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eneral design guidance for historic Kansas downtowns is available in the Kansas Main Street Design Manual. All Design Committee members should be familiar with the guidance provided in the Design Manual and it should be used when addressing rehabilitation of specific buildings or other design issues in downtown Dodge City. This report will provide a description of downtown Dodge City’s opportunities in design and a list of recommended actions related to design in downtown Dodge City.

Figure 1 - A map of downtown Dodge City depicting the proposed boundaries of the Main Street District. BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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Design - Downtown Dodge City

2010

Design Committee Overview The role of the Dodge City Main Street Program’s Design Committee is three-fold: 1. To educate and create awareness of the importance of design and building integrity in the success of the Main Street program. 2. To be an advocate for authenticity in design in downtown; and 3. To facilitate projects that implement the recommendations for good design and building integrity. Detailed information about the Design Committee’s role is available in Part II of the Kansas Main Street Design Manual.

Design Committee Goal and Objectives The Dodge City Main Street Design Committee will work toward the following goal: “Adhere to a developed plan of action that sequentially implements improvement of infrastructure and the physical and visual quality of downtown. Recognize past and existing cultural influences genuine to Dodge City that will be a basis upon which ultimate implementation may occur.” The Dodge City Main Street Design Committee will have the following objectives to guide its work over the next several years: (These are fully described later in this report.) 1. Develop an awareness and sensitivity for the historic integrity of the built environment. 2. Plan and implement a program for clean up and repair in the downtown area. 3. Provide an organized clear graphics program for wayfinding into the downtown area by establishing “gateways”. 4. Improve merchandising techniques to entice individuals to shop downtown businesses. 5. Establish a consistent long-term building maintenance and improvement program in the downtown district. 6. Address long-range planning based upon strategic implementation with funding acquisition.

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Design - Downtown Dodge City

2010

Historic Context of Downtown Dodge City

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he following images depict aspects of historic Dodge City and some of the original building fabric and character of the community. Urban renewal however removed much of the original downtown along Front Street. The remaining buildings, of which there are a significant number, date from the 1910’s, 1920’s, and 1930’s.

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t is this historic character that will be the basis upon which rehabilitation will occur. Understanding a building’s original appearance through historic research will be necessary in this effort.

Figure 2 - Dodge City viewed from Boot Hill c. 1875-76.

Figure 3 - Dodge City’s Front Street between First and Second Avenues c. 1878. BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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Figure 4 - Front Street between Central Ave. & 1st Ave. c. 1878.

Figure 5 - Front Street Shops c. 1878.

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Figure 6 - Looking Southwest from City Hall. c. 1888-89.

Figure 7 - Winter scene in Dodge City, Kansas c. 1898.

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Figure 8 - Santa Fe Station c. 1898.

Figure 10 - Wright Building c. 1900.

Figure 10 - Carnigie Library c. 1907. BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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Figure 11 - Chestnut Street (now Gunsmoke St.) c. 1915.

Figure 12 - 1st Avenue looking North c. 1915.

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Figure 13 - Second Ave. looking North c. 1925.

Figure 14 - Front St. & Second Ave. looking Northwest c. 1930.

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Figure 15 - South-Western Tractor and Implement Show along Front St. c. 1930.

2010

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Figure 16 - Boot Hill c. 1980. Former City Hall on upper right.

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Community Assets Related to Downtown Design

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he existing buildings in downtown Dodge City are a great community asset and should be maintained. These downtown buildings are physical evidence of the hopes and aspirations of Dodge City business owners and community leaders over previous years of Dodge City’s history. They represent the investment of individuals who were confident in the future of Dodge City and in many respects they represent the spirit of the community and its citizens. A number of buildings have received modifications over the years, and many have been lost due to demolition during urban renewal programs of the 1970’s. More recently, downtown Dodge City has experienced lack of maintenance and use which has brought about deteriorated conditions that may precipitate demolition of buildings if not arrested at this time.

Figure 19 - Ford County Courthouse c. 1913

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Figure 20 - Post Office c. 1932

ost of the current buildings were built over a period of approximately 30 years and represent several architectural styles. The variety and integrity of the historic buildings are major design assets. Each building should be respected for its original design character. Do not try to “remake” buildings into something they never were or attempt to create a consistent theme for downtown buildings.

Figure 21 - The Dodge Theatre Building c. 1929

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Figure 22 - The Ford County Government Building, formerly The Lora Locke Hotel, at Central Ave. & Gunsmoke St. c. 1928

Figure 23 - Fidelity State Bank at 2nd Ave. & Gunsmoke St. c. 1916

Figure 24 - Episcopal Church at 1st Ave. & Spruce St. c. 1898

Figure 25 - The Chalk Beeson Theater at 1st Ave. & Gunsmoke St. c. 1930

Figure 26 - Bank of America Building at 2nd Ave. & Gunsmoke St. c. 1930

Figure 27 - Former City Hall at 4th Ave. & Spruce St c.1929

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Figure 28 - Carnegie Library at 2nd Ave. & Spruce St. c. 1907

Figure 29 - Dodge City Daily Globe Newspaper on 2nd Ave. c.1920

Figure 30 - The Bell Block along Front Street. c. 1920

Figure 31 - Former Post Office, now Encueno’s on 2nd Ave. c.1930

Figure 32 - The Osage Building at 1st Ave. & Front Street. c. 1925

Figure 33 - Warshaw Building at 2nd Ave. & Gunsmoke St. c. 1925

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Observations & Issues Regarding Design within the Downtown

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lthough buildings in the downtown district are representative of different architectural periods and styles, facade modifications have been added over time. Many include covering of historic windows and transom windows, infill or replacement of storefront display and upper windows, inappropriate signs and awnings. Fortunately, many storefronts in Dodge City have been covered or slightly modified in ways that are easily and inexpensively returned to the historic appearance.

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ack of adequate reinvestment in many of the buildings in Dodge City’s downtown district is noticeable. As a result, likely, there are now buildings with structurally compromised walls and roofs. This is an important issue because water penetration causes structural damage. The longer the buildings are left without proper protection from water, the more expensive the repairs will become. There are several vacant storefronts and many vacant second stories. Some vacant storefronts evidence this condition for an extended period of time.

Figure 34 - Deteriorated sidewalk comprising a tripping hazard.

Figure 35 - Overgrown street tree damaging walk, creating severe tripping hazard.

Figure 36 - Second story windows requiring repair and refurbishing.

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Figure 37 - Abandoned storefront with inappropriate cover and debris.


KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010

Design Committee’s Initial Tasks The Design Committee’s initial task is to collect data, or organize data that has already been collected, on each building in the project area. The information collected or organized should include: •historic photos and information about original construction and later modifications •building information and statistics that will facilitate leasing to new businesses •individual building condition assessments using the forms provided in Part XI of the Kansas Main Street Design Manual This will provide a basis upon which decisions can be made regarding modifications and upgrades to return authenticity to individual buildings.

Design Committee Objectives Each of the Design Committee objectives is described in detail in the following information. Within this section a time frame outline is provided to allow the Design Committee to organize its efforts in a logical and sequential series of priorities. 1. Develop an awareness and sensitivity for the historic integrity of the built environment.

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he Design Committee should focus on helping the community appreciate the qualities of the existing buildings that provide historic character to downtown Dodge City. The building owners and tenants need to understand the importance of building maintenance as a pre-requisite for long-term economic prosperity. The cost of repairs to existing buildings may seem significant but the quality and value of a maintained historic building is much greater than we can afford to build today. Removal of the wooden canopies will facilitate opening up the facades of existing buildings so they can be evaluated and be maintained or restored to original authenticity.

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aintaining the investment of natural materials and human labor in existing buildings is a sustainable choice for the people of Dodge City. Repairs to roofs, parapets and rainwater drainage systems are of great importance for the on-going preservation of the downtown’s historic buildings. As a result of inadequate maintenance, structural inspections to indicate necessary repairs are needed for the buildings in the downtown district.

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nvestigation of electrical and mechanical hazards should be done to preempt the risk of fire and loss of life. There are likely a variety of hazardous materials in the downtown buildings that must be managed appropriately to protect workers, building users and the natural environment.

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KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010 2. Plan and implement a program for clean-up and repair in the downtown area to include: a. Implementation of a plan to eliminate the pigeons from the downtown area. b. Removal of trash and debris from streets, sidewalks, building entrances, and other public areas. c. Removal of chewing gum from many sidewalk areas. d. Repair of damaged and dangerous sidewalk conditions with city/owner cooperative investment.

Figure 38 - Second floor windows with deteriorated coverings / trash exposed.

e. Remove non-historic abandoned signs and refurbish existing signage to remain. f. Work with building owners to make general maintenance repairs such as repairing broken window glass, painting doors, windows, and trim. g. Remove the non-historic / non-authentic canopies along Front Street. They block the building facades, are not representative of the actual period(s) during which most of the remaining buildings were built and provide a false impression of the downtown district.

Figure 39 - Storefront door with inappropriate tattered signs and residue.

h. Upgrade the streetscape in addition to existing benches, trash receptacles, trees, etc.

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ake minor improvements to as many properties as possible. It is important to accept that Downtown’s image is a district issue, not just a collection of individual issues. The Main Street Organization may need to invest district resources into properties with owners that are reluctant to participate. It is often more effective to lead by example and to offer assistance with improvements rather than enforce compliance to regulations. See Part II of the Main Street Design Manual.

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aining access to unoccupied buildings to clean up the worst problems should be an initial action step. Most absentee owners are receptive to an offer to provide local surveillance that includes minimal maintenance – such as cleaning out the storefront window. Many local owners are also willing to make improvements to storefronts but resist because of lack of time, expertise or discretionary funds. Budget for cleaning supplies, painting supplies, and construction materials and utilize volunteers or contract professional help when necessary to make improvements on buildings where it is appropriate to do so.

Figure 40. - Opening left after tree removal creating a tripping hazard and debris collector.

Broken windows need to be repaired, however, it is important to make repairs that do not permanently alter the design of the building. If it is not possible or practical to repair windows, then paint boarded-over windows to match the design of the building. It is not necessary to improve every building in the district before proceeding to the next objective. However, improving the majority of the worst buildings will be important to the impact of the additional objectives. The investment made on these improvements will be noticed immediately and will illustrate one of the first tangible benefits of the Main Street approach to the community.

Figure 41. - Deteriorated cover plate creating a tripping hazard.

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ntil the pigeon problem, and general cleanup and improvements are made in infrastructure, inviting people to Downtown Dodge City will be premature and they will likely not return if their experience is less than pleasurable.

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he concrete sidewalks are irregular and in disrepair in several places in the downtown area. This creates a tripping hazard for pedestrians. The City of Dodge City should BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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Figure 42. - Deteriorated curb and gutter.


KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010 create an incentive program for replacement of concrete sidewalks. If the program is not enough of an incentive, find out what enhancement to the program would be necessary to make it work. The City of Dodge City has curb cuts that meet accessibility regulations. Maintaining these in good repair will be mandatory to provide a positive shopping experience in Downtown Dodge City.

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n addition, alleys are a challenge in downtown commercial districts. Dodge City’s downtown alleys are not prominently in view, however in a few areas they are quite obvious and detract from the overall visual appeal of the downtown district. Maintain alleyways to present a neat and clean appearance. If necessary, enforce (or enact), local ordinances regarding a ban against the accumulation of abandoned property and requirements for proper maintenance of vegetation.

Figure 43. - Trash and debris collecting in recessed doorway.

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he brick streets in Dodge City are a characterdefining feature of the downtown area. The brick streets are in relatively good condition and should be retained. Do not cover over or remove the brick streets.

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enerally, the streetscape should attract pedestrians to the downtown area. Dodge City citizens and visitors should feel invited to stroll along the sidewalks and use the public space of the downtown district. The medallions in the “Trail of Fame” help to create this atmosphere. The sidewalk paving needs to be safe and plant materials, when provided, need to be beautiful and well-maintained. A consistent watering program is necessary to keep plantings healthy. Benches invite people to rest and linger. Trash receptacles are a necessity in a downtown district that wants a neat and clean appearance. Existing overgrown street trees should be replaced with smaller trees that do not hide building facades and business signage. A simple thing that the Design Committee can BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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Figure 44. - Debris gathering in doorway.

Figure 45. - Trash and debris collecting in gutters.


KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010 encourage is washing the windows of downtown buildings, remove out of date window displays and clean dirt, bugs and debris from window areas. Dirty windows send a strong negative message just as clean windows send a strong positive message. In general, it is better to have a clean and empty window display rather than a display that is clearly neglected or out of season. Clean windows and display areas regularly and, if necessary, utilize blinds, curtains, or partitions to obscure views into the rest of the building while leaving a usable display area. Maintain interesting historical and architectural features of the existing building stock. These features provide the public space with charm, which will attract visitors and make your downtown memorable.

Figure 46. - Storefront window totally covered over.

Figure 47. - Multitude of signage obscuring the storefront of the business.

Figure 48. - Abandoned sign which should be removed.

Figure 49. - Deteriorated historic marquee which should be repaired and refurbished and placed in use - possibly announcing downtown events.

Figure 50. - Business sign posted mid-day, mid-week noting “Closed� - not an appropriate welcome to potential shoppers.

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Figure 51. - “Open” sign on a business which has no identification as to “what business” is open.

Figure 52. Broken glass in a storefront window.

Figure 53. - Deteriorated masonry cornice which allows moisture into building creating structural failure.

Figure 54 - Medallion in the “Trail of Fame” adding to a positive downtown experience.

Figure 55. - Downtown business employee scrubbing side walk.

Figure 56. - Suitable bench and trash container in comfortable Plaza area.

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3. Provide an organized clear graphics program for wayfinding into the downtown area by establishing “gateways” .

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s noted herein, the approaches to the downtown district from the east and west on Highway 50 are not well marked. This causes those passing through Dodge City by vehicle to not realize they are near the downtown as the “Front Street” area blocks both visual and physical access to downtown.

Figure 57. - Entering Dodge City from the East on Highway 50.

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o attract these passing motorists to stop and shop, it is necessary to add obvious signage that would signal entry into Dodge City’s historic downtown. There are appropriate welcome signs at the entrances to the community. Currently there is no consistent clear graphics component that identifies the downtown area or how to access it. From the east there is no directional signage until one has passed the downtown and must double back for access. From the south signage is buried in a group of signs adjacent to the “El Captain” statue which only identifies that one has arrived in the “historic downtown”, but gives no direction on how to access it. From the west a myriad of signs, banners, “Do Not Enter” signs, etc. are at a minimum distracting and at worst confusing for motorists who wish to access the downtown area.

Figure 58. - Entering Dodge City from the East on Highway 50.

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he best approach may be to develop informational and interpretative signs and graphics that tell “the full story of Dodge Figure 59. - Nearing Downtown from the East on Highway 50 BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010 City� rather than emphasize a brief, although significant, period of the community’s early development.

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he entrance to the community from the south on Highway 283 is more problematic than the other highway entrances. South of town there are industrial land uses that are by necessity on the highway. In a few areas, these industrial users have not taken care to create visual screening for the highway travelers. Encourage methods of enhancing the visual character of the south approach to Dodge City and downtown.

Figure 62. - Entering downtown from the East with no indication one is in downtown.

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he images included herein document approaches to the Dodge City community and downtown and are provided as a pictorial overview for study and analysis by Dodge City Main Street throughout the program period and may be used in context with other issues.

Figure 63. - View by a driver entering downtown with no direction to downtown - only Boot Hill & Front Street.

Figure 61. - Approaching downtown from the East on Highway 50.

Figure 60. - Approaching downtown from the East on Highway 50. No directional signage shown. BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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Figure 64. - Directional signage blocked by trees.


KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010

Figure 65. - Directional signage blocked by trees.

Figure 67. - Boot Hill signage at East end partially blocked by temporary signage. Note sign on left which is too far back to read.

Figure 69. - Entering downtown from the West. No direction to downtown. BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

Figure 66. - Directional signage only fully visible as immediate turn with no direction to downtown.

Figure 68. - Entering Dodge City from the West on Highway 50.

Figure 70. - Entering downtown Dodge City from the west. Note visual confusion with banners, wrong way, no u-turn signs.

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Figure 71. - Entering Downtown form the West on Highway 50. Do not enter signs create confusion.

Figure 72. - Entrance sign to Boot Hill entering from the East.

Figure 73. - Sign welcoming people to downtown with no information on access or attributes.

Figure 74. - Entering Dodge City from the South on Highway 283.

Figure 75. - Entering Dodge City from the South on Highway 283. No directional signage to Downtown

Figure 76. - Signage indicating “Historic Downtown” with no direction for access and buried in other signage.

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Figure 77. - View of Downtown at 2nd Ave. at Front Street.

Figure 78. - View of Downtown on 2nd Ave. across “El Captain” Park.

Figure 79. - View of Downtown at 3rd Ave. and Gunsmoke.

4. Improve merchandising techniques to entice individuals to shop downtown businesses.

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t is important to improve visual merchandising in the downtown district. The storefront provides a costeffective advertising opportunity for most traditional downtown businesses. It can be a creative, dynamic invitation working twenty-four hours a day to capture the potential customers who are already at the doorstep. Ask a simple question – if placing a picture of ones storefront in the newspaper, would it be considered a good advertisement? Merchants need to identify target clients and create storefront, and in store displays, that will bring people in and create an atmosphere to entice people to purchase. Expectations based on cultural experiences are welcome in downtown businesses, however a careful consideration of crosscultural display techniques may increase appeal to a wider variety of customers and thus improve business and the bottom line. BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010

M

erchandise displays in the storefront windows do not have to be complex, extravagant, or difficult to create, but they absolutely need to be clean, wellmaintained, and periodically refreshed. The Kansas Main Street Design Manual Part VIII provides many useful principles regarding visual merchandising, however, the first step to improved visual merchandising is to understand its importance to the first-time visitor and give it the priority it needs to help attract business.

C

reative window displays often require a little artistic ability. But like most arts,

Figure 77 - Window displays are a visitor’s first impression of the store and should be clean and well-kept.

the elementary skills can be acquired with training and practice. Many communities use window display contests to encourage an interest in creating better window displays. The contests can also be used to educate business operators about the elements of good design. Once businesses improve their displays, they often see an improvement in customer relations and sales. Documenting and sharing their success stories can help to create an environment that values the impact of visual merchandising. 5. Once the downtown district has been cleaned up, initial maintenance has been performed, wayfinding graphics have been provided and merchandising improvements have been implemented it is necessary to establish a consistent long-term building maintenance and improvement program in the downtown district.

T

he Main Street Program’s intent is to preserve historic downtowns and the commercial buildings within them. Preserving historic buildings includes returning them to their historic appearance by taking away inappropriate modifications and making improvements that respect the historic character of the building while meeting contemporary needs. Preservation is BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

Figure 78. - An inappropriate facade modification that should be researched for removal and original construction rehabilitated.

B arbara G. A nderson, LLC


KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010 typically the most cost-efficient improvement option available to building owners. One of the reasons preservation is a cost-effective choice is that the improvements have a lasting quality that is not possible when repeatedly chasing after the newest wave of modernization trends. Following is a list of improvements needed in downtown buildings: a. Upper facade window painting, repair or replacement with windows that match the historic windows. It is not appropriate to cover the windows, install new windows that are smaller than the historic windows, install windows that do not match the configuration of the historic windows, or use dark or reflective glass. If the second floors are not occupied, it is nevertheless a good idea to keep the windows in good repair and hang simple blinds or curtains. b.

Maintain the upper facade masonry and cornices. Typical maintenance work needed to preserve upper facades includes masonry repointing with appropriate mortar as necessary and painting materials historically painted such as pressed metal facades and cornices.

c. Historic storefronts should be preserved. Transom windows, display windows, doors, cast-iron or wood columns, masonry piers, and a bulkhead are the basic components of the storefront. These components are likely in place under later modifications such as wooden coverings over transom windows, wood frame awnings, and metal siding. Where the historic materials and features are present but covered they should be uncovered and repaired. Where they are exposed but in deteriorated

BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

Figure 79. - A shake shingle mansard, which is inappropriate for the building

Figure 80. - An essentially intact store front capable of being rehabilitated

Figure 81. - Broken windows depict lack of maintenance and interest in improving the Downtown

B arbara G. A nderson, LLC


KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010 condition they should be repaired. It is best not to replace historic features and materials. Deferred maintenance has taken its toll on the integrity and usefulness of many downtown buildings. It is time to implement repairs to the roofing, windows and walls to make the buildings weathertight. Removal of water damaged materials from buildings, which may have contributed to mold and mildew problems, must be addressed. Structural damage from moisture exposure, or other causes, need to be repaired. Heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems may also be in need of replacement. Roofing, structural, and heating, ventilating and airconditioning systems can be expensive repairs and use of state and/or federal tax credits and tax rebate programs may assist owners in making these repairs affordable. It is critical that all modifications to the buildings meet building codes and regulations to protect the life and safety of the occupants; particularly fire separation walls and parapets need to be repaired and maintained. See Part X of the Kansas Main Street Design Manual for additional information on codes and regulations. d. Awnings, unlike canopies, are significant features of commercial buildings and they contribute to the visual character of downtown’s public space. Appropriate awnings provide character to the buildings and communicate a great deal about the businesses within the buildings.

BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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Figure 82. - A multitude of small inappropriate modifications that could be removed, deferred maintenance corrected and the building improved

Figure 83. - Upper window projects have taken advantage of funding availability and are in good repair

Figure 84. - A lower storefront which was installed without the assistance of the Main Street Design Guidelines.


KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010 Awnings provide shade to pedestrians on the sidewalk, protect pedestrians from rain and snow, protect the items on display in the windows from harmful sunlight, and they bring color to the downtown streetscape. Awnings can be used for signage too which needs to be visible from the sidewalk and from the street. The winds typically present in Dodge City make fabric awnings difficult to maintain, thus the predominance of metal canopies that are not historically appropriate in most cases. Fabric roll up awnings may be a solution that is both practical and historically appropriate as is evidenced on the Eckles building.

Figure 85. - Basically an intact building with inappropriate reflective glass and signage in replaced storefront.

e. In all cases, it will be important to install and maintain signage that fits the character of the building. Well-intentioned efforts to put modern-looking signs and awnings on historic buildings usually hurt the image of the district in the long term. The Kansas Main Street Design Manual Part IX provides useful principles about business signage.

R

ehabilitation projects that will require extensive effort and funding need to be planned with professional assistance. One of the reasons to use professionals is so that the projects take advantage of all of the financial and technical incentives available to historic properties.

Figure 86. - The Robinson Furniture Store with boarded windows that should be uncovered or repaired if in poor condition.

A

significant reason to use historic preservation professionals in planning major rehabilitation projects is that the repair and maintenance of historic buildings requires different technology (construction knowledge BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

B arbara G. A nderson, LLC

Figure 87. - The metal “wrap� of the Eckles Building should be considered for removal


KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010 and methods) than new construction. If historic materials are not repaired properly it can actually hasten the deterioration of the building materials.

A

n additional reason to use professionals in planning major projects is that hazardous materials were commonly used in historic buildings. Asbestos and lead are two of the most common hazardous materials found in historic buildings. Handling these potentially harmful materials appropriately is a matter of significance both legally and with regard to social responsibility.

W

Figure 88. - Ceramic tile which has broken. Remove tile from a less visible location and infill the most prominent locations. Infill less prominent locations with compatible material.

orking with professionals in planning a rehabilitation project allows all types of work to be coordinated and done in a sequence that is appropriate and cost efficient. Phasing large rehabilitation projects may be necessary if funds are not plentiful and preservation professionals can assist in planning the phases to provide the greatest impact most efficiently.

I

t is important to work with authenticity and not try to create a period in time for a building that never was. Most remaining buildings in Downtown Dodge City were built in the 1910’s, 1920’s, and 1930’s.

Figure 89. - A facade with too many signs, note inappropriate position of signs above parapet.

Figure 90. - An oversized sign. Refer to signage guidelines in the Main Street Design Manual, parts III - VI.

BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010 6. Long-range planning of the Downtown must be assessed. The following considerations are provided for evaluation, review, and implementation as appropriate, and with financing being available. a. Reconsider downtown.

one

way

streets

north

of

Currently Central Avenue is one way north, north of Cedar Street, & 1st Avenue is one way south, north of Cedar Street. Should Second Ave. ultimately be opened for through traffic, possibly allowing two-way traffic into the downtown along Central & 1st Avenues, could be advantageous. A traffic engineering study should be considered and executed in conjunction with this action.

Figure 91. - An inviting period entrance with tile vestibule, stone entrance and interesting original light fixture.

b. Consider angled parking to increase parking availability.

Downtown streets currently have parallel parking only. Consider angled parking, even at a shallow (30 degree) angle to allow more parking to occur in the downtown area.

c. Consider second story housing that meets building codes.

Second floors are being utilized in some instances. In cooperation with the City Code Enforcement Office, evaluate the possibilities of developing second floor housing in the downtown area. Occupancy type, fire separations, adequate exits, plus Americans with Disabilities Act (A.D.A.) considerations will need to be incorporated into any decision making process and implementation of housing opportunities. BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

Figure 92. - An original canopy which should be retained but the A/C unit removed.

Figure 93. - Historic business sign that should be retained and refurbished.

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KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010

People living and shopping in the downtown area will add a vibrance and level of activity to the area making a more pleasant environment.

d. Improve major infrastructure deficiencies, i.e. waterline replacement.

Significant discussion has taken place regarding infrastructure improvements in the downtown area. Currently water lines are old, outdated, and undersized. Building code requirements for fire sprinklered buildings, basements and spaces cannot be met because the water system is not sized to accommodate the volume and pressure requirements of fire sprinkler systems. An intermediate time frame should likely be considered for businesses wishing to locate downtown to be required to have fire sprinkler systems until infrastructure capacity can be rectified. It is also prudent to consider any additional infrastructure and/or streetscape improvements required in combination with this action.

e. Maintain churches and facilities in downtown.

Figure 94. - A strong candidate for storefront refurbishment per Main Street Design Guidelines.

Figure 95. - Retention of an authentic lighting fixture

government

The existing downtown churches and the “Gospel Hill� area of downtown are an important component of keeping people coming to the downtown area as are the mainstream of government facilities such as the Ford County Courthouse, County Office Building, City Hall, Post Office, etc. Figure 96. - Unique and suitable graphics in the Downtown District. BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010

All of these facilities maintain a presence in the community that draw people to the downtown area. Once there, if there are other opportunities to shop or obtain services in the downtown, more people are likely to take advantage of them. Church members enjoy casual dining opportunities for brunch or lunch after church services on Sundays and good eating establishments in the downtown area, perhaps within a short walk, would be advantageous.

Figure 97. - An excellent mid 20th century storefront treatment that should be retained.

f. Open 2nd Avenue to through traffic, or create additional alternative access into downtown and from Boot Hill.

As discussed elsewhere in this report access into downtown is thwarted due to the closure of 2nd Ave. to through traffic, limited signage and only fringe street thoroughfares adjacent to downtown at Central Ave. and 3rd Ave. In addition, access to Boot Hill is from the west in the vicinity of 5th Ave., a full 3 blocks away from the core of the downtown district. This access point does not create traffic for downtown other than in the parking lots adjacent to Wyatt Earp Blvd. Consideration of relocating the entrance to Boot Hill to the vicinity of 3rd Ave. & Front Street might be a consideration. This provides a link to the downtown area that currently does not exist.

Figure 98. - A comfortable Downtown open space suitable for concerts or relaxation activities.

g. Building infill should maintain a sense of authenticity.

Several areas in the downtown area may eventually become candidates for infill BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

Figure 99. - Suitable planters and trash receptacles.

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KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010 construction. Some areas of downtown and the Main Street District are disjoined and have no continuity due to building demolition, insertion of parking lots, etc.

Lack of a continuous link of buildings in a downtown district creates visual and psychological blocks for shoppers as they will tend to not go further down the street for a shopping experience if they feel there is nothing to draw them there. In considering infill buildings, design components must blend with the context of the existing adjacent buildings. Maintaining a sense of authenticity with infill projects is important to the overall downtown district and shopping experience. Refer to the Kansas Main Street Design Manual Part VI.

Figure 100. - Removal of the wooden canopies should be considered.

h. Remove wooden canopies and replace with authentic shading devices.

The existing wooden canopy structures along Front Street are deteriorated and are neither authentic nor of the same vintage as the period of the buildings they screen. The canopies are an attempt to recreate a period of Dodge City’s history over a relatively short span of time. Removal of the canopies and refurbishing the existing storefronts to original appearance as much as possible will be consistent with recommendations provided herein for the other areas in the Main Street District.

Figure 101. - Heritage tourism interest figure, Wyatt Earp

Although fixed fabric awnings may have proven to be inadequate with Dodge City’s Figure 102. - “El Captain” which may be considered for relocation to open 2nd ave. BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010 climate and wind, several business locations in downtown appear to have successfully used retractable awnings much in keeping with those in the historic photographs which are available. i. Remove metal slip covers on selected buildings.

As with many communities across the nation, the early post World War II era saw community expansion, eruption of suburban shopping malls, and a general disdain for anything “old”. The influence of the “International” style of

Figure 103. - A facsimile of a fabric awning that should be considered for replacement with a roll up awning

architecture symbolized by straight lines, flat roofs, and strong geometric shapes which had begun in Europe in the 1930’s began a strong influence in the United States at this time.

The United States consumer’s absorption of the need for “new’ became an overriding consideration for building owners and merchants in downtown districts during this time. As the buildings in most downtowns of the time dated from pre-war, to pre-1900 in most cases, the rush to compete with the bright shiny suburban malls led many, with enough financial resources to do so, to embark on “modernizing” their buildings. This trend saw many metal facade slip covers over historic building facades, full height, or at a minimum simply at first floor. These, although new, had no compatibility with the remaining architectural features of the buildings. In some instances entire original masonry facades were irreparably damaged in order to attach the new materials. In others, only minimal damage able to be repaired was done with periodic anchors and attachment devices. In most instances original transom windows and lower storefronts were modified or covered leaving these areas to be repaired or replaced at this time.

In downtown Dodge City there are several buildings, including Eckles Department Store, that could benefit from removal of the metal slip cover, or later as on the building at 2nd Ave. and Spruce (see Figure 79) the cedar shake shingle awnings of the 1970’s. Assessment of each building to determine the extent of potential damage done to original materials should be completed prior to deciding to proceed. In this way repair and rehabilitation costs can be considered in advance. There are one or two buildings, particularly ‘Sam’s’, which have unique treatments that are appropriate for the architectural style and should be retained.

BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010

Short, Intermediate and Long Term Plans of Action

c. Intermediate (6-24 months) - Simple storefront rehabilitations: Remove inappropriate contemporary additions to historic storefronts. Add appropriate signs and roll up awnings to buildings where needed. Work towards authenticity.

T

he Design Committee objectives intertwine with each other and are interdependent upon actions which need to occur in a logical and achievable sequence. The following outline is provided to allow the Design Committee a view of how to approach its objectives which can result in success.

- Make structural repairs and repairs to roofs and gutters as indicated by the structural conditions assessments.

a. Immediate (1-6 Months)

- Secure funds for, and begin projects for, the rehabilitation of significant buildings contributing to the downtown.

Structural Condition Assessment: Have a licensed engineer verify the structural integrity of buildings in the downtown district. Clean up and Beautification: - Create a plan for getting pigeons under control. - Clean streets, curbs, gutters and sidewalks. - Remove chewing gum from sidewalks. - Wash windows / clean storefront systems and clean displays. - Create new, high-quality displays, (both temporary and permanent) in storefront windows targeted to customers and the type of atmosphere they want. - Remove non-historic abandoned signs.

- Begin planning, or if funds are available, implement storefront rehabilitations that are extensive - for example the Cochran Building. d. Long Term (1-5 years)

b. Short-Term (12 months) Maintenance: - Paint windows, doors and trim. - Replace broken glass. - Cleanup remaining signage/paint existing signs/refurbish. - Repair damaged sidewalks. Wayfinding: Graphics / Signage - Observe closely the process of visitors trying to find downtown beyond Front Street. - Create signage directing people into downtown. - Provide information / interpretive signage “The full story of Dodge City”.

BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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- Continue to reinvest in downtown buildings through routine maintenance and replacement of elements such as roofing and mechanical systems. - Plan and implement big rehabilitation projects as downtown becomes more economically self-sustaining. For example, a project to replace the waterline system could be a first phase to redesign of the entire streetscape. Do not, however, do a streetscape project until it is economically feasible and coordinated with other work in the Downtown area. - Pursue consideration of opening 2nd street for downtown access and implementation of: - Removing one way streets - Changing parallel to angled parking where streets are an adequate width - Second story housing - Infrastructure refurbishment - Canopy removal - Building infill - Metal slip cover removal (except Sam’s)


KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010

Strategic Demonstration Projects

T T T

he following images show three examples of buildings in downtown Dodge City that were chosen for demonstration purposes. hese images are intended to allow the community to objectively see how the buildings currently appear to first time visitors and generate awareness of the state of existing conditions.

he potential building facade drawings depict how removal of inappropriate elements from the buildings allow for replacement and repair with compatible awnings, storefront, signage and building treatments. Throughout the Downtown there are many other buildings that provide reasonably simple and inexpensive opportunities for improvement while others require considerable effort and money to bring them back to being viable attractive facilities in which businesses will be proud to be located.

A

blockscape drawing has been developed to depict improvements to the east and west sides of Second Avenue between Gunsmoke and Spruce Streets. Improvements include removal of existing modifications to building facades and creating period appropriate upgrades, signage improvements, and landscape enhancement with planters and light posts, etc.

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KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010

Figure 104. - Reyna’s on North 2nd Ave. showing signage and awning modifications and masonry repaired.

Figure 105. - Ensueno’s Boutique on North 2nd Ave. with awning and signage modifications.

Figure 106. - Possible signage and window modifications on vacant storefront on Gunsmoke St.

BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A. 555 POYNTZ AVENUE, STE 295 MANHATTAN, KS 66502 785.776.1011 785.776.9785 FAX 332 WEST 7th STREET JUNCTION CITY, KS 66441 785.238.5678 785.238.5767 FAX

BETWEEN GUNSMOKE AND SPRUCE DODGE CITY, KANSAS

2008, Bruce McMillan AIA, Architects, P.A.

KANSAS MAIN STREET

Copyright

REMOVE METAL CANOPY REMOVE PLYWOOD INFILL

REMOVE PANEL INFILL

GENERAL NOTES

1

EXISTING WEST SIDE OF 2ND STREET BETWEEN GUNSMOKE AND SPRUCE SCALE:

1/8" = 1'-0"

REMOVE METAL SIDING

SET NUMBER: DATE: September 30, 2010

REMOVE WOOD CANOPY

REMOVE METAL CANOPY

FILE NAME: BLOCKSCAPE090110.dwg

DRAWN BY: BHM

PROJECT NUMBER:09.16.14

2

EXISTING - EAST SIDE OF 2ND STREET BETWEEN GUNSMOKE AND SPRUCE SCALE:

ELEVATIONS

1/8" = 1'-0"

A1 SHEET 1 OF 2


BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

GENERAL NOTES

555 POYNTZ AVENUE, STE 295 MANHATTAN, KS 66502 785.776.1011 785.776.9785 FAX

INCORPORATE BUSINESS SIGNAGE INTO STOREFRONT DISPLAYS, AWNINGS AND APPROPRIATE BUILDING FACADES.

332 WEST 7th STREET JUNCTION CITY, KS 66441 785.238.5678 785.238.5767 FAX

INSTALL UNDERGROUND WIRING TO LAMP POSTS REMOVE INAPPROPRIATE INFILL WINDOW AND WALL SYSTEMS AND REPLACE WITH TRADITIONAL COMPONENTS.

Copyright

2008, Bruce McMillan AIA, Architects, P.A.

CLEAN EXISTING BUILDING MATERIALS AND REPAINT PREVIOUSLY PAINTED SURFACES WITH HISTORIC COLORS INSTALL NEW AWNINGS IN APPROPRIATE MATERIALS, SIZES AND LOCATIONS REMOVE NON-ORIGINAL METAL/WOOD FACADES AND TRANSOM COVERS

1

CLEAN AND TUCK POINT MASONRY AS REQUIRED

REPAIR AND REFURBISH 2ND STORY WINDOWS

CLEAN AND TUCK POINT MASONRY AS REQUIRED

KANSAS MAIN STREET

INSTALL NEW 2ND STORY WINDOWS

BETWEEN GUNSMOKE AND SPRUCE DODGE CITY, KANSAS

REPAIR / REPLACE DAMAGED ORIGINAL MATERIALS FOR CONTINUED SERVICEABILITY

PROPOSED WEST SIDE OF 2ND STREET BETWEEN GUNSMOKE AND SPRUCE SCALE:

1/8" = 1'-0"

CLEAN AND TUCK POINT MASONRY AS REQUIRED

CLEAN AND TUCK POINT MASONRY AS REQUIRED

INSTALL WOOD TRIM ON FACADE

SET NUMBER: DATE: September 30, 2010

INSTALL NEW BRICK TO MATCH EXISTING

2

NEW AWNING SYSTEM WITH BUSINESS SIGNAGE

*REPAIR MASONRY AS REQUIRED

PROPOSED - EAST SIDE OF 2ND STREET BETWEEN GUNSMOKE AND SPRUCE SCALE:

NEW AWNING SYSTEM WITH BUSINESS SIGNAGE

NEW AWNING SYSTEM WITH BUSINESS SIGNAGE

ADD APPROPRIATE AWNING SYSTEM

REPLACE METAL AWNINGS WITH FABRIC ROLL UP AWNINGS

FILE NAME: BLOCKSCAPE090110.dwg

DRAWN BY: BHM

PROJECT NUMBER:09.16.14

ELEVATIONS

1/8" = 1'-0"

A2 SHEET 2 OF 2


KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010

Appendix

T

he following images document the major components of the Main Street district and serve as a pictorial overview for study and analysis by Dodge City Main Street throughout the program period and may be used in context with issues being addressed by the Design Committee. Note that in some instances vehicles block views of open space and the building facades.

Figure 107 - 1st Ave. and Vine St. looking Northwest

Figure 108 - 1st Ave. and Vine St. looking Southwest BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010

Figure 109 - 2nd Ave. and Vine St. looking Northwest

Figure 110 - 2nd Ave. and Vine St. looking Northeast

Figure 111 - 2nd Ave. and Vine St. looking Southeast

Figure 112 - 2nd Ave. and Vine St. looking Southwest BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010

Figure 113 - 4th Ave. and Spruce St. looking Southeast

Figure 114 - 4th Ave. and Spruce St. looking Southwest

Figure 115 - 5th Ave. and Spruce St. looking Southeast

BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010

Figure 116 - 3rd Ave. and Spruce St. looking Northeast

Figure 117 - 3rd Ave. and Spruce St. looking Southeast

Figure 118 - 3rd Ave. and Spruce St. looking Southwest

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KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010

Figure 119 - 2nd Ave. and Spruce St. looking Northeast

Figure 120 - 2nd Ave. and Spruce St. looking Northwest

Figure 121 - 2nd Ave. and Spruce St. looking Southeast

Figure 122 - 2nd Ave. and Spruce St. looking Southwest BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010

Figure 123 - 1st Ave. and Spruce St. looking Northwest

Figure 124 - 1st Ave. and Spruce St. looking Northeast

Figure 125 - 1st Ave. and Spruce St. looking Southeast

Figure 126 - 1st Ave. and Spruce St. looking Southwest

BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010

Figure 127 - Central Ave. and Spruce St. looking Southwest

Figure 128 - Central Ave. and Spruce St. looking Northwest

Figure 129 - Central Ave. and Spruce St. looking Northeast

Figure 130 - Central Ave. and Spruce St. looking Southeast BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010

Figure 131 - Avenue A and Spruce St. looking Southwest

Figure 132 - Avenue A and Spruce St. looking Southeast

Figure 133 - Central Ave. and Gunsmoke St. looking Southwest

Figure 134 - Central Ave. and Gunsmoke St. looking Northwest BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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Figure 135 - Central Ave. and Military Ave. looking Northeast

Figure 136 - Avenue A and Military Ave. looking Northwest

Figure 137 - Avenue A and Military Ave. looking Northeast

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KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010

Figure 138 - 1st Ave. and Gunsmoke St. looking Northwest

Figure 139 - 1st Ave. and Gunsmoke St. looking Northeast

Figure 140 - 1st Ave. and Gunsmoke St. looking Southeast

Figure 141 - 1st Ave. and Gunsmoke St. looking Southwest BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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Figure 142 - 2nd Ave. and Gunsmoke St. looking Northwest

Figure 143 - 2nd Ave. and Gunsmoke St. looking Northeast

Figure 144 - 2nd Ave. and Gunsmoke St. looking Southeast

Figure 145 - 2nd Ave. and Gunsmoke St. looking Southwest BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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KANSAS MAIN STREET DODGE CITY 2010

Figure 146 - 3rd Ave. and Gunsmoke St. looking Northeast

Figure 147 - 3rd Ave. and Gunsmoke St. looking Southeast

Figure 148 - From 5th Ave. and Front St. looking East

Figure 149 - From Front St. between 4th Ave. and 5th Ave. looking West

Figure 150 - From Front St. between 3rd Ave. and 4th Ave. looking West BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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Figure 151 - From 3rd Ave. looking West at Front St.

Figure 152 - From North of Applebee’s looking Northwest to Spruce St. and 3rd Ave.

Figure 153 - The corner of 3rd Ave. and Spruce St. looking Northwest

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Figure 154 - From Front St. between 2nd Ave. and 3rd Ave. looking East

Figure 155 - From 2nd Ave. and Front St. looking Northwest

Figure 156 - From 2nd Ave. and Front St. looking Northeast BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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Figure 157 - From 1st Ave. and Front St. looking Northwest

Figure 158 - From 1st Ave. and Front St. looking Northeast

Figure 159 - From Central Ave. and Front St. looking Northwest BRUCE McMILLAN AIA ARCHITECTS, P.A.

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ADDENDUM COMMUNITY VISIONING NOTES & COMMUNITY COLLEGE MEETING NOTES


Dodge City Vision Statement 1.

Dodge City’s Top strengths and assets History and Heritage Name Recognition Boot Hill Museum Santa Fe Depot Multi-Cultural and diverse businesses Carnegie and 2nd Ave. Art Guild Farmers Market

2.

Downtown’s biggest weaknesses and problems Building deterioration Vacant buildings Lack of infrastructure Pigeons Lack of cultural communication No public restrooms Lack of variety of shops Lack of upscale eating Perception of not being safe Community apathy

3.

Downtown’s greatest opportunities Name Recognition Develop new businesses niche and western themed Growth and expansion of arts/retail/public museums Farmer’s mkt. and food court vendors Opportunity to become destination point – community and tourism Showcase cultural diversity Develop 2nd floor residential

4.

Downtown’s greatest challenges Getting property owners to buy in Creating a cultural balance Lack of comprehensive plan/master plan Infrastructure and capital investment Getting people back downtown by attracting new businesses Funding

5.

Why downtown is valuable to the community Great revenue source if developed properly Name recognition and history DT makes a statement as your community’s hub/heart

6.

How DT will look in the future Prosperous and inviting Building restored to historic integrity Walking only streets High rate of occupancy Visitor and resident friendly Landscaped, centralized PA system and shade

7.

How the buildings and public spaces will be used


Mixed use downtown – upper floor residential, lower level businesses, office, meeting space Tourist shops and fine food/ historical awareness Farmers Market Cultural tourism Coffee shop in the Lora Locke IMAX Theater in or around DT Showcase arts and talents of the region, music, art 8.

Who are the users and customers of downtown (will be) Everybody Visitors/tourists Local citizens

9.

What goods and services will you find in DT Dodge City? Ethnic, western, tourist related “made in Dodge” Restaurants Micro Brewery Antiques Pharmacy with market Movie theaters Seasonal stores (holiday merchandise) open year round Wi Fi Bookstore, new and used Spa services

10. What attractions and activities will there be DT? Expanded Boot Hill and Deport operations Learning centers – college, arts, culture Expansion of Farmer’s Market Outside dining Scheduled events – music, band concerts More “Charlie Meade” type of folks Street festival Public/Political forums 11. What will DC be known for in 2016 – Image projected The historic return to Dodge City heritage What Tahoe & Santa Fe are to NM – DC is to KS Friendly image to everyone Locally made, produced, celebrated Place that shows western heritage Inclusiveness Safe and vibrant Queen of the Cowtowns Showplace (restored/rebuilt) Cultural blend 12. Benefits of achieving your vision for DT. Dodge City Additional revenues, visitors, attractions and awareness of DT Employment opportunities – creating/retaining jobs Growing, thriving community Creating a 2nd star on Google map 13. What steps need to be taken to begin implementing the vision for DT Dodge City? Set priorities, goals and timelines


Cooperation from City, County, Non-profits, businesses and education Establish a realistic vision/plan that is achievable Willing proprietors/businesses/building owners Info, communication, participation and inclusiveness

DODGE CITY COMMUNITY COLLEGE MEETING NOTES •

Organization o Leadership development programs o Team building programs o Nonprofit management programs o Volunteer coordination programs o Public relations programs o Fundraising, grant writing programs o Community College Promotion o Special event management programs o Marketing/advertising/graphic arts programs o Health programs o Health fairs o Health walks/trails o Healthy living clusters Design o Interior merchandising programs o Landscape architecture programs o Building materials/construction programs o Rehab programs o Traditional building skills/trades o Art programs Economic Restructuring o Hospitality programs o Retail trade programs o Business programs o Business skills o Business planning o Entrepreneurial development o Incubator without walls services o Student run businesses downtown o Including art galleries o Targeted market research opportunities Miscellaneous o Student volunteer opportunities downtown o Volunteer requirements o Students and faculty as a market opportunity for downtown o Downtown as a market opportunity for the Community College o Satellite location for adult outreach education and to facilitate hands on student field work in the downtown

Dodge City Main Street Strategic Guide  
Dodge City Main Street Strategic Guide  

The Resource Team report is a service provided by the Kansas Main Street Program, Kansas Department of Commerce, to guide downtown Dodge Cit...

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