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VOLUME: 5 / ISSUE N O: 02 / JUNE 2018

NEWSLETTER Rochester Downtown Alliance

#MyDowntownRochMN We have just launched a new general marketing campaign that will focus on people, place, and experiences of Downtown Rochester. See pages 18 and 19 for details.

Plus... All new 2018 Programs, Start-Up Grant information, 13 Years of Thursdays on First & 3rd, along with so much more!

© 2018 Rochester Downtown Alliance. All rights reserved | 311 S Broadway Ave, Suite A2, Rochester, MN 55904 | DOWNTOWNROCHESTERMN.COM


From the ED BY JENNA BOWMAN RDA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Greetings, We made it! The winter may have been long and snowy, but the next few months will continue to fill Downtown Rochester with sunshine, warmth, and activity. You will read about those events and programs in the pages to come. In addition to these exciting updates, you will also have the opportunity to learn about the first ever general marketing campaign. This general marketing campaign is possible because of the work completed via the brand refresh and media suite development. We look forward to sharing key insights and learnings about these marketing efforts. I wanted to take this opportunity to share a concept, which was presented in Rochester on April 30th. 8 80 Cities On Monday, April 30th Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA) partnered with the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) to host a lunch with Gil Penalosa. Penalosa is a world renown speaker and the founder of a non-profit organization called 8 80 Cities, based in Canada. 8 80 Cities was created and centered on a simple principle, if you create a great city for an 8-year-old and an 80-year-old, you will create a successful city for all people. Here are some key principles of that concept:

IN THIS ISSUE

4 Window Artist Feature

6 Start-Up Grants 8 Focus Turns to Community

10 Board Member Feature

12 2018 Programs

• We need to stop building cities as if they were only for athletic 30-yearolds • If we benchmark ourselves to communities that are worse, we are going to end up looking like those communities • Change is hard, but change offers wonderful opportunities • As we move forward with change, here are the key elements of that process • Sense of Urgency • Political Will • Leadership • Public Participation • We must think outside of the box and work together to leverage the opportunities available

14 Thursdays on First &

If you are interested in learning more about this concept, check out by clicking here. Thank you for all that you do to make Downtown Rochester the great and unique place that it is.

24 Featured

Here’s to a wonderful summer. We look forward to providing you updates on all the activity in Downtown Rochester these next few months! Thank you, Jenna Bowman

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3rd Enters 13th Year

16 Locals & Landmarks 18

#MyDowntownRochMN Campaign

20 Ladies Night Out Recap

22 Sidewalk Sale Stakeholder Series

w/Sean Baker

26 Facade

Improvement Grant


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DMC Discussions DMC IGNITES GROWTH BY LISA CLARKE, DMC ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Recently, I had a day when I was stopped several times by people who wanted to talk with me about how excited they are about DMC and its potential. I spoke with a baby boomer couple who moved Downtown and are amazed at the progress. I talked with a team of sisters who are small business owners – they have lived through 15 years of changes in Rochester’s Downtown and are confident about their business’ future success. I visited with an entrepreneur who moved here because of what she heard about DMC activity. I talked with a Mayo Clinic patient who heard about DMC and wants to talk to me about investing in Rochester for retail development. All of these conversations about how DMC is impacting our community happened in just one day. They have good reason to believe in DMC. It reached a major milestone last year when the private investment threshold required to release state dollars for public infrastructure improvements was not only met, but surpassed. There are currently over 20 projects in the DMC district at various stages of development – from discussions to construction. With more than 3,300 jobs added in Rochester since 2014 and construction activity at the four DMC-funded projects resulting in more than 1,000 combined construction jobs. DMC is on target with job growth. This great progress demonstrates the strength of both the Rochester community and the entire southeast Minnesota region as economic generators. And it’s only going to get stronger, thanks to continued collaborative efforts from our public and private partners. I know growth brings challenges, such as employee recruitment and workforce housing, but the DMC Economic Development Agency (EDA) is working with the city of Rochester, Olmsted County, higher education, community, and regional organizations to find solutions. DMC is a large and complex initiative with many moving parts, so it’s important to continue communication at many levels. The DMC EDAis working on additional outreach efforts to continue community and statewide conversations, answer questions, seek feedback, and listen. I look forward to continued conversations about the future and its infinite possibilities. If you see me out and about – I’d love to hear what’s on your mind about DMC.

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© 2018 Rochester Downtown Alliance. All rights reserved | 311 S Broadway Ave, Suite A2, Rochester, MN 55904 | DOWNTOWNROCHESTERMN.COM


Window Artist Feature BY SAMANTHA ROSSI MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

When you look at the outside of our building, the first thing you notice are the beautiful painted windows. We had originally thought of showcasing our events, programs, and general marketing, however we wanted to make sure it was something the public could enjoy. What better way than to activate the space by working with local artists to create vibrancy and a piece of art for all to enjoy. Our first installation is Olourcay Ibevay and was created by Jennalee Whiting and below is her story. Tell us a little about yourself? Well, my name is Jennalee Whiting and my favorite color is neon red. The hue runs deep. It has the tendency to find its way into most of my paintings. I love hip-hop and alternative dance music. Um, dogs for sure. A lot. DIYs, art, traveling west, Earth, space and puns are totally my jam. I’m a born and raised Rochesterite who married a born and raised Rochesterite. Go Rockets. We have two kids – a 4 month old human child named Driver and a rescued fur child named Gretzky. They are the bee’s knees, and if you let me, I could probably talk about them for a while.

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VOLUME: 5 / ISSUE N O: 02 / JUNE 2018 We know you have a passion for art, but what made you want to get involved with this project specifically? So, I am a closet creator. Those that know me know I can make a few things. But, I’m a bit shy too. When the project to paint the window came about, I thought it would be a great opportunity to step outside a little and wave. And now I’m here out in the open. Hi there! That aside, I also wanted to be a part of Rochester’s growing arts community. The city is brimming with talent. Being a part of that and leaving a colorful mark in town for someone else to enjoy puts a big smile on my face. You mentioned the growing arts community, but why do you think it’s important to have art in the heart of Downtown Rochester? I think there are a few answers to this question. First off, I could argue that art is almost as crucial as breathing. The thing about Rochester is the majority of traffic Downtown are people traveling to Mayo Clinic from all over seeking treatment and answers. Art has a healing component to it. These displays are a therapeutic way to take the focus off what is happening behind clinic walls, and focus on the beauty that surrounds them. Second and simply put, art is created to evoke feelings. It gives people the ability to target their emotions and pour them into a work of art. Because everyone is unique, and no two people are the same, having various types of mediums and art styles splashed throughout Rochester will reach more of the community. And the more people it reaches, the more impactful it becomes. Olourcay Ibevay is an interesting name; how did you come up with it? I came up with color vibe from the feeling I get when engaging in Downtown Rochester events. It’s a fantastic melding of unique individuals, gathering together and being there for the exact same reason – to have fun. There’s some solid vibing going on, and aren’t we all a little colorful in one way or another? It was only fitting to pay homage to my childhood growing up here in Rochester by adding a Pig Latin twist. Your art is very playful and fun; what inspires you? “You can be serious when you’re dead.” A direct quote from me, that I just made up. But I totally believe it. There will always be sad stories and somber times in our world. It’s human nature, unfortunately. I guess I would rather create something that makes people feel happy and good, even for a moment, rather than focusing on the darker things. There’s enough of that in the world. Every once in a while you gotta toss something uplifting into the mix.

Page 5 © 2018 Rochester Downtown Alliance. All rights reserved | 311 S Broadway Ave, Suite A2, Rochester, MN 55904 | DOWNTOWNROCHESTERMN.COM


Start-Up Grants BY KARLI MCELROY PROGRAM MANAGER

The Start-Up Grant is designed to help first–time events come to fruition, while additionally bringing excitement to Downtown and enriching the community of Rochester and its residents. 1st Annual Rochester Math Festival - Wednesday, March 14 from 6:00-8:30pm – Downtown DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton Organized by the Rochester Math Club, Math Fest took place on National Pi Day and featured a keynote speech by 3-time TED talk speaker and world-famous mathematician, Dr. Arthur Benjamin. In addition to being a TED talk speaker, Dr. Benjamin has written a number of popular books, and has appeared on the ‘Colbert Report,’ with Stephen Colbert. The event was expected to draw 200 attendees, but more than 400 people participated. Paint Off – Saturday, May 12 from 5:00 – 10:30pm – Gallery 24 Paint Off, coordinated by Gallery 24 President and local artist Cassandra Buck, featured an art competition, which highlighted six local artists painting a given theme, under pressure of limited time, and a live audience. Prizes were awarded to winning artists by a panel of judges. Additionally, attendees were encouraged to participate in an interactive public art project outside Gallery 24. US TOO – Monday, May 14 from 6:30 – 9:00pm – Rochester Civic Theatre US TOO was an event devoted to the issue of sexual misconduct, assault, and the voices of people who have experienced it. Topics were expressed through visual art, videography, spoken word, storytelling, and music. US TOO was organized by Regina Mustafa, Dawn Sanborn, and Pam Whitfield. Organizers say the goal of this event is to promote healing, question assumptions, combat victim shaming, and further discussion between communities in our region. Drums, Please! – Monday, August 20 from 4:00 – 9:00pm – Peace Plaza Drums, Please!, organized by the Greater Rochester and Olmsted County Arts Response Team (G.R.O.C.A.R.T.) celebrates the end of summer on the Peace Plaza with an experience that goes beyond the traditional after-work event. Drums, Please! will feature local high school drumlines, a community picnic, an “angry hour”, and summertime games. Admission is free and open to the public. This grant period, a total of $8,500 will be distributed to these first-time events taking place in Downtown Rochester. More information about these events and the StartUp Grant program can be found by clicking here. The 2019 grant period will open in November. Page 6


VOLUME: 5 / ISSUE N O: 02 / JUNE 2018

From the Chair BY AL MANNINO BOARD CHAIR

“We look forward to seeing you enjoy our Downtown “ hope to share the unique flare that Downtown Rochester has to offer.

W

elcome to 2018 Spring in Downtown! This year, the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) will lead us into spring with a new marketing campaign and our annual community favorite, Thursdays on First & 3rd. #MyDowntownRochMN marketing campaign will feature individuals from the community and showcase all of their favorite things about Downtown Rochester. From shopping, eating, banking, selfie locations, and more, we

These stories will help connect visitors, patients, and residents to the local favorites and showcase the great businesses within our Special Service District in an authentic way. The campaign will be brought to life by connecting content with visuals and sharing the information through multiple channels. In addition to the new #MyDowntownRochMN campaign, Thursdays on First & 3rd kicks off June 7th and runs every Thursday through August 30th! The vendors are preparing their wares and the food booth professionals are perfecting their menus. This summer includes more than 50 musical acts set to perform at either the 1st Avenue or

the Peace Plaza Stage. Our first Thursday, June 7, features some great music plus a very special 7PM musical treat “FABBAulous”. This full ABBA experience band will rock the Downtown. Led by Mary Lieser and Dianna Parks, the band features a collection of amazing local and very talented musicians. Bring your dancing shoes and be ready to rock out to the best of 80s dance music. It’s going to be a full wonderful summer for Thursdays on First & 3rd and the launch of the new marketing campaign. We look forward to seeing you enjoy our Downtown. From the Chair is a recurring article within the RDA Newsletter where the sitting Board Chair reflects on the past quarter and speaks to the next quarter. Page 7

© 2018 Rochester Downtown Alliance. All rights reserved | 311 S Broadway Ave, Suite A2, Rochester, MN 55904 | DOWNTOWNROCHESTERMN.COM


Focus Turns to Community BY BILL FAY EVENTS COORDINATOR

It’s been said Minnesota has two seasons: nine months of winter and three months of tough sledding. But when that “tough sledding” season finally hits and the sunshine warms southeast Minnesota, we here at the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) shift our focus to bringing the community together for great summer events. The most well-known event lasts all summer long, Thursdays on First & 3rd. Mixed into the summer of crafts, music, and great food are three other events that aim to bring all different kinds of people Downtown. Movies in the Park kicks off in June and occurs one Saturday per month through September. For a few hours on the select Saturday nights, Central Park transforms into an outdoor theater for family and friends to gather and enjoy a movie and activities. This summer’s Movies in the Park event will take place on June 16, July 21, August 18, and September 15. This year, we’ve added activities along with food and beverage options for attendees before the movie begins. For two hours leading up to show time, everyone can participate in the fun and family-friendly activities. Page 8


VOLUME: 5 / ISSUE N O: 02 / JUNE 2018 In July, the historic Sidewalk Sale begins. The sale runs from July 16-22 and is part of the Thursdays on First & 3rd market on July 19. The Sidewalk Sale has been around much longer than the RDA, but we see it as a great partnership. As with all of our events, we focus a lot on community when molding how we approach each event. The Sidewalk Sale is an opportunity for residents, visitors, and employees to get great deals while immersing themselves into the Downtown business culture. The sale connects people to our Downtown stakeholders and helps them build relationships together. Our final summer event brings our four-legged friends Downtown. Dog lovers and their pets hit Peace Plaza for Dogs Downtown. This year’s Dogs Downtown event is set for Saturday, August 4. Dogs Downtown brings dog lovers together for a day of activities, performances, and, of course, treats and giveaways for the dogs and their humans. It brings new people Downtown and introduces them to other people just like them. We also feature dogfriendly patios, so even when the event is done, people can enjoy a meal or drink with their dogs at their side the entire time. The dog-friendly patios keep the sense of community alive beyond the one-day event and connects people to even more Downtown stakeholders. At the end of the day, our main focus is the community and stakeholders we represent. We are continuing to find ways to bring everyone together for an enjoyable time in Downtown Rochester, including our upcoming summer events. We could not execute the events we do without all of our wonderful partners. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Page 9 Š 2018 Rochester Downtown Alliance. All rights reserved | 311 S Broadway Ave, Suite A2, Rochester, MN 55904 | DOWNTOWNROCHESTERMN.COM


BOD Member Feature WITH BRAD JONES OF MINNESOTA’S ROCHESTER AND JOHN MURPHY OF MAYO CLINIC

Part of a diverse and eclectic group, RDA Board Members Brad Jones and John Murphy share their point of view into the RDA’s values, mission, and strategic priorities. Which of the RDA values resonates the most with you and why? Brad Jones: I believe that one of the RDA organizational values that resonates the most with me is “Striving for Excellence” Our city has so much opportunity to innovate and create meaningful programming and events for Downtown. John Murphy: The key effort is to establish the RDA as the “Downtown experts.” A changing and developing Rochester will need to rely on experts to navigate the future and the RDA is in the best position to be THE experts on Downtown. We can develop our expertise by making sure our efforts are all about the businesses and users of Downtown and by understanding their needs. We will become experts by showing and demonstrating tangible results. We need to learn from others and apply our knowledge to real-life problems. We must try new things and not be afraid to fail in public,

celebrate our successes and learn from our strike swings. If we do this, we will be the experts. Which strategic priority is most important to you and why? BJ: Consistently and constantly programming a vibrant, active, and safe Downtown is so very important for our many businesses, residents, and visitors because Downtowns are the heartbeat of a city and having a healthy authentic city core is essential for Rochester’s future. JM: Engaging with the media: Print, web, broadcast, and social media are the most powerful and effective ways to communicate with our target audiences and to demonstrate expertise. To do this we must: Create our message in a clear straightforward way. Understand journalists and establish relationships with them. Use pictures to tell our story. Highlight people and write compelling editorials. Why do you feel it’s important for the RDA to provide benefits, opportunities, and support for Downtown Rochester? BJ: Minnesota’s Rochester has a very unique Downtown unlike several throughout North America. We see nearly 30,000 workers and 20,000+ visitors converge on our Downtown each and every day. This provides the demand and capacity to leverage vibrancy, so it is very important that RDA can help focus this energy into unique and quality experiences. JM: Downtown has the most iconic and well-known symbols

Photo: Brad Jones

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Photo: John Murphy

of Rochester: Peace Plaza, The Chateau Theater, the Plummer Building, The Gonda/Mayo Buildings, the Kahler Grand Hotel, the Mayo Civic Center, and Historic Third Street to name just a few. They are the anchors for medical advancement, business growth, economic diversity, retail, dining, and are an attraction for residents, patients, visitors, seniors and young talent. That’s why it is critical we support Downtown. Why do you feel a vibrant Downtown is important? JM: A healthy Downtown means a strong community. The DMC planners called Downtown “the heart of the city” and it makes sense that you can’t have a vital city without a strong heart. This new generation looks for transportation to “multiple use” destinations. That is: one place where you live, work, shop, eat, get medical care, and find entertainment. Downtown offers the best solution for a multiple use destination.


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Moms Who Lunch BY KARLI MCELROY PROGRAM MANAGER

Moms Who Lunch is a quarterly lunch event for all moms which provides an opportunity to meet-up and enjoy a delicious, reduced-price meal at select Downtown restaurants. The first lunch took place at Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria with 25 moms in attendance. The casual lunch provided these moms (many of them Downtown employees) with a chance to make new friends, and swap stories about raising children while juggling the demands of being a professional and a mom. One mom in attendance commented, “These [events] are fabulous and allow me to engage more with my community and other moms.” Aside from the community impact of these lunches, there is an economic impact to the hosting restaurant. There is no cost to participate as a host restaurant, only the ability to accommodate seating for up to 30 moms and offer a prix fixe menu. The Rochester MN Moms Blog and Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) take care of the rest of the ticketing, payment, and entertaining of guests. This is a great opportunity for restaurants Downtown to host an event, engage with the community, and support working moms Downtown.

Page 11 © 2018 Rochester Downtown Alliance. All rights reserved | 311 S Broadway Ave, Suite A2, Rochester, MN 55904 | DOWNTOWNROCHESTERMN.COM


2018 Programs BY KARLI MCELROY PROGRAM MANAGER

The Rochester Downtown Alliance’s programs offer the public the ability to participate in activities that are self-guided, at their own pace, and taking place over the course of the year. This type of passive and active programming also helps provide a new pace for residents to engage with the Downtown, and offers visitors an experiential and hopefully, memorable stay. In my own travels, I’ve found that sometimes what makes or breaks a city is its ability to entertain when there are no events taking place. The small moments, a great dining experience, a fantastic shop, or a unique activity for someone to fill 30 minutes of open time are sometimes what makes a city stand out. NEW - Games on the Grass - May 7 – October 31, 2018 – Grassy Area of Peace Plaza Games on the Grass was developed to offer a quick, passive activity for all ages to become more socially engaged or physically active while Downtown, and test Heart of the City design concepts. Page 12


VOLUME: 5 / ISSUE N O: 02 / JUNE 2018 Games on the Grass features a branded game cart and tables with a decal game board in the grassy area of the Peace Plaza. The cart will house various lawn games and board game pieces. All games are free and open for public use. The RDA thanks Destination Medical Center for their co-partnership of this program, and University of Minnesota – Rochester for their support as our Games Partner. Bookworm Walk - May 21 – August 31, 2018 – Rochester Public Library In its second year, the Bookworm Walk features four children’s books over the course of the summer set in flower planters. The walk, which is open to the public, begins outside the Rochester Public Library, runs along the Zumbro Riverwalk, and ends at the Riverfront Waterfall. The Bookworm Walk kicked-off May 21 with a nature themed scavenger hunt for children and their families. The RDA thanks the Rochester Public Library, Rochester MN Moms Blog, and Lanier Parking for their support. NEW - Social Steps - Select Fridays, June 1 – August 31, 2018 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm – Peace Plaza Social Steps was created as an activity to promote socialization and physical activity on the Peace Plaza. It is also a great opportunity for the public to enjoy artistic dance and performance by the area’s dance professionals. Social Steps is a series of free, bi-weekly social dance classes on the Peace Plaza. These classes feature themed dance nights such as Swing, Latin, and Ballroom dances taught by Dahl Dance. The Kahler Hospitality Group will prepare a themed drink, which corresponds to each style of dance. The RDA and our partners understand the value of supporting unique programming and events which inspire the public to think creatively and contribute to a more active Downtown community. We are excited to feature our Downtown stakeholders and look forward to an exciting summer of unique programming! More information about the RDA’s programs can be found by clicking here, or by contacting RDA Program Manager Karli McElroy at kmcelroy@rdowntownalliance.com. Page 13 © 2018 Rochester Downtown Alliance. All rights reserved | 311 S Broadway Ave, Suite A2, Rochester, MN 55904 | DOWNTOWNROCHESTERMN.COM


Thursdays on First & 3rd Enters 13th Year BY BILL FAY EVENTS COORDINATOR

Thursdays on First & 3rd (TOF) originated in 2004. It was then known as the “Summer Street Market & Music Series.” At the time there were around 40 vendors setup on 1st Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Street. When the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) was formed, the organization adopted the event and has been serving as the planner, producer, and promoter even since. This year, we Page 14

celebrate 13 years with the event. You might not know, but the “& 3rd” was added in 2009 when Historic 3rd Street became an integrated part of the event. This summer, the event will have more than 115 vendors, two entertainment stages, and span from Historic 3rd Street to just south of Center Street, as well as on the Peace Plaza. While TOF is a great


VOLUME: 5 / ISSUE N O: 02 / JUNE 2018

economic driver for Downtown Rochester, it provides much more than that for the community. “Whether you are flying solo, or with a group of friends or co-workers, you never feel alone at Thursdays on First,” said Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce President Kathleen Harrington. “It makes everyone feel they are a part of a vibrant, friendly, and eclectic community.” One of the most unique things about TOF—which we’ve yet to find anywhere else in the United States— is that it’s a summer-long, weekly event that runs for 9 ½ hours per event. “It’s great for families, Downtown workers, and people visiting Mayo Clinic during the day,” said RDA Board Member and Experience Rochester MN Executive Director Brad Jones. “Then [the

introduced to a new product, service and/or type of music 60% of the attendees came to Thursdays between 1-3 times We look forward to seeing you at TOF. Click here for

event] becomes more of a launching pad for Thursday ‘nightlife’ in the evening.” Needless to say, TOF is a great way to bring the Rochester community together. What we also know is that: 92% felt more connected to the Rochester Community the latest information on after attending Thursdays the event. 80% of attendees were

Page 15 © 2018 Rochester Downtown Alliance. All rights reserved | 311 S Broadway Ave, Suite A2, Rochester, MN 55904 | DOWNTOWNROCHESTERMN.COM


Locals & Landmarks BY MEGHANN SOUTHWICK COMMUNITY AND EVENTS MANAGER

We asked Rochester native, videographer extraordinaire, and new co-owner of Downtown Rochester art studio Canvas & Chardonnay, Tyler Aug, to tell us about his favorite Downtown landmark. Q: Okay, Tyler. Your Instagram is full of fun mid-century modern architecture, art, and fun spots in Rochester. Do you have a favorite Downtown landmark to film or photograph? A: I do! It’s actually a specific spot. It’s an alleyway in the middle of the street by KROC near 1st Avenue; you can look down and see the Plummer Building. Q: I love it. What does it mean to you? A: I always have this feeling when I walk by, and I know it’s kind of a stereotype, but I always think about what that (Plummer Building) used to be when everything was flat and undeveloped. No other buildings look like it, and it always reminds me of this special feeling when the town was really alive at the time. It becomes this kind of beacon in a classic sense. It just glows in that alley, and I always stop because it’s perfectly framed up. You feel the history, and it makes it feel alive again.

Photo: Tyler Aug

Q: I’ll have to stop by next time. Okay, finally, if you could spend a day in Downtown Rochester however you wish, where would you go? A: I always think of this as a cliche thing, but it’s just one of those things. I always think I’m going to just get a coffee at Cafe Steam, but I always end up running into people I know and talking. You just walk away from that so refreshed; for me, there really aren’t that many spaces Downtown that activate that. In so many ways, it’s a special thing to have a safe hang out like that in our city - full of good people. Page 16

Photo: Tyler’s Instagram


VOLUME: 5 / ISSUE N O: 02 / JUNE 2018

Video Series Launch BY SAMANTHA ROSSI MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) worked in collaboration with Downtown Stakeholder, Red Couch Stories to document the wide array of people, place, and experiences that make up the foundational elements of the Downtown brand, a brand that the RDA launched in March of 2015. The media suite took nine months to complete, and in total, produced almost 300 photos and 5 videos. We released all 4 of the :30 second videos, in the month of March, through multiple marketing channels. Our hope is that these videos have and will continue to spread awareness of the one of a kind people, places, and experiences that Downtown Rochester has to offer. Quote from Red Couch Stories “We ran along RDA’s side in documenting the incredible diversity of “People, Places and Experiences” throughout a nine-month window in 2016-17, creating a deep bucket of visual content for their team to use within their different channels,” said Red Couch Story Co-Founder, Shawn Fagan. “As our city grows, we appreciate the confidence the team at RDA placed in Red Couch Stories to create authentic content. Locally we have such a tremendous and diverse story. It’s an honor to help showcase the community that we love.” Video Launch Dates Wednesday, March 7th: People Wednesday, March 14th: Place Wednesday, March 21st: Experience Wednesday, March 28th: Overall To watch the mini video series, please visit our website, Downtownrochestermn.com.

:30 PEOPLE

:30 PLACE

:30 EXPERIENCE

:30 OVERALL

Page 17 © 2018 Rochester Downtown Alliance. All rights reserved | 311 S Broadway Ave, Suite A2, Rochester, MN 55904 | DOWNTOWNROCHESTERMN.COM


Photo: Example of Staged #MyDowntownRochMN General Marketing Campaign

#MyDowntownRochMN BY SAMANTHA ROSSI MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

This year, the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) will build on the people, places, and experiences that happen throughout the Special Service District of Downtown Rochester. We are investing $20,000 into this general marketing campaign and will be working closely with three Downtown Stakeholders; Inspire, Whitespace, and Fagan Studios, to complete this initiative. Our goal is to provide an authentic voice for the #MyDowntownRochMN marketing campaign by asking individuals throughout the community to provide their take on Downtown Rochester. We are collecting information through a short survey to capture what they love about Downtown Rochester. After the survey is received, we will create a full blog, along with creative, uniquely Rochester images that we will share through our multiple channels, such as social media, e-newsletter, website, digital, and print. In addition to content from community individuals, we will also be reaching out to a variety of stakeholders to provide information on the products, services, or other items mentioned by the community individuals. The content is intended to provide a taste of Downtown Rochester. We know that everyone sees Downtown in a different light, through this campaign we aim to bring out some unique traits in the process.

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VOLUME: 5 / ISSUE N O: 02 / JUNE 2018 The #MyDowntownRochMN marketing campaign launched on Tuesday, May 22nd and will feature one individual’s story each week until the end of 2018. With over 30 features, we hope to provide diversity and shine a bright light on all of the great things happening in our Downtown. Should you be interested in learning more about our new #MyDowntownRochMN campaign, please do not hesitate to reach out to me, Samantha Rossi, by phone or email. All examples featured in this newsletter are staged and are not a true reflection of the #MyDowntownRochMN general marketing campaign.

Photo: Example of Staged #MyDowntownRochMN General Marketing Campaign

Page 19 © 2018 Rochester Downtown Alliance. All rights reserved | 311 S Broadway Ave, Suite A2, Rochester, MN 55904 | DOWNTOWNROCHESTERMN.COM


Ladies Night Out Recap BY MEGHANN SOUTHWICK COMMUNITY AND EVENTS MANAGER

Ladies Night Out returned for the third year on Thursday, March 8, 2018. An estimated 500 people enjoyed special promotions and activities at 23 Downtown businesses with the opportunity to win $1,500 in prizes. This year, two Style Sessions were offered ahead of the main event. Each session focused on a specific topic led by local Wardrobe Expert and Style Consultant, Alicia Goodson. Style Session attendees learned “How to Dress for Your Body Type� and received a sneak peek into runway trends with a Spring Fashion Preview featuring styles from Downtown retailers. It is no secret this winter was a long one. Ladies Night Out (LNO) was created to allow women the opportunity to ditch their cabin fever and spend an evening shopping, dining, mingling, and enjoying all that Downtown has to offer. LNO did just that and proved to instill plenty of excitement within attendees. A survey was sent electronically to all recorded attendees after the event. Of survey respondents, 81% of attendees felt more connected to the community after attending LNO. In addition, 95% of attendees felt more motivated to shop, dine, or use services Downtown, and 87% learned something new about a Downtown Rochester business. Not only that, but 84% of survey respondents would like to see more retail focused events in Downtown Rochester. The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) was thrilled to work with its 2018 partners and Downtown businesses to make Ladies Night Out happen. The impact of the event is felt deeper than just bringing the community together to discover the unique retail businesses, restaurants and bars in Downtown Rochester. The RDA estimated the economic impact of Ladies Night Out reached $25,000. For more information on RDA events and programs, visit Downtownrochestermn.com. Page 20


VOLUME: 5 / ISSUE N O: 02 / JUNE 2018

Making a Home BY BILL FAY EVENTS COORDINATOR

After more than a century in the same Downtown Rochester location, Paine Furniture Co. shut its doors for the final time in 2006. Now, nearly 12 years after the historic closure, the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) is making it’s home inside a portion of the Building. As you may know, the RDA moved from its space above Grand Rounds Brewing Company late January. The decision was made to move after the RDA increased its staff from four to five with the addition of needing more meeting and storage space. In early March, with the help of local artist, Jennalee Whiting, we began to transform the white walls and blank windows. Today, if you walk by along Broadway Avenue South, you can look in and see the RDA at work. You’ll also see a beautiful art display across the storefront window called “Olourcay Ibevay”. Artist Jennalee Whiting created the piece to represent the RDA bringing neighborhoods together and a vibrant pulse to the heart of the city. Click here to learn more about Jennalee and her inspiration for the work. In addition, what used to be a blank slate is now filled with the RDA brand. Our Downtown logo is on the window, on the wall, and all over our tall pipe-connected shelves in the corner. A big thank you to Downtown Stakeholder, David Hewitt with Narrative Design for his creativity and talents. His vision brought our door to life. Needless to say, the historic Paine Furniture building has transformed from a place that helped others fill their home, to a space we now call home.

Page 21 © 2018 Rochester Downtown Alliance. All rights reserved | 311 S Broadway Ave, Suite A2, Rochester, MN 55904 | DOWNTOWNROCHESTERMN.COM


Sidewalk Sale BY MEGHANN SOUTHWICK COMMUNITY AND EVENTS MANAGER

The Sidewalk Sale is one of the longest standing events in Downtown Rochester, and a beloved tradition for many. Downtown businesses have gathered in the summer heat to line 1st Avenue and Broadway with their unique products since the early 1960s. Back then the Sidewalk Sale was always timed after Miracle Mile’s Crazy Days, the largest sale in Rochester at the time. Vince Berg of Hanny’s was an original member of the Downtown Business Association (DBA) when the Sidewalk Sale was founded. Tim Berg, his son, shared that, “People would wait for the (Sidewalk) Sale and start calling around Memorial Day wondering when it would be. A lot of Mayo patients scheduled their annual visits around the Sidewalk Sale, and still do today.” The Sidewalk Sale was so successful that in the early 1970s, the DBA held a Winter Sidewalk Sale inside the Mayo Civic Center. Fast forward to today, and the Sidewalk Sale continues to attract visitors and residents alike. Watch for the Sidewalk Sale to hit the streets of 1st Avenue in Downtown Rochester beginning July 16th through July 22nd, and at Thursdays on First & 3rd on July 19th. “It’s best to get here early,” says Berg. “The stores open early because the doorbuster bargains, the hallmark of the sale, get snatched up quickly!” This year over 20 Downtown businesses with feature sales.

Page 22


VOLUME: 5 / ISSUE N O: 02 / JUNE 2018

Interns & Brand Ambassadors The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) is proud to announce the appointment of its 2018 Summer Events & Marketing Interns, Emma Culbertson and Madison Kelly. Culbertson and Kelly will be assisting with events and marketing tasks related to Thursdays on First & 3rd, Movies in the Park, Sidewalk Sale, and Dogs Downtown. Culbertson is currently a freshman at the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities pursuing a degree in Journalism and Strategic Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations. Previously, Culbertson was winter the Chair oming off a successful and exciting events season, the Rochester for Downtown Alliance (RDA) of Marketing and Development a Relay for Life is gearing up for another vibrant and active summer in hosted through Pine Island High School. Her team Downtown Rochester. Continue reading for a complete completed the for Life in May 2017 with overto145 list Relay of summer events, a brief introduction each event, and how you’re able to get connected. The members and raised over $10,000 for the American Cancer Society.

C

Photo: Emma Culbertson

Kelly is currently a sophomore at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa as a Graphic Design and Magazine Media double major. Kelly is the Photo Editor for Drake Magazine, a midwestern lifestyle magazine and awardwinning student publication at her university, and manages a staff of seven photographers. Previously, Kelly was the Summer Marketing Intern at the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce assisting with design, social media management, and event coordination.

Photo: Madison Kelly

The Rochester Downtown Alliance’s Summer Events & Marketing Interns will be joined by the newly appointed Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) Brand Ambassadors at Thursdays on First & 3rd. Formerly called “Tent Staff”, these individuals will be the fun faces welcoming you to the RDA branded tents each Thursday. Make sure to visit them to learn about all of the exciting events and programs happening Downtown, and grab your exclusive Market Bag! Page 23

© 2018 Rochester Downtown Alliance. All rights reserved | 311 S Broadway Ave, Suite A2, Rochester, MN 55904 | DOWNTOWNROCHESTERMN.COM


Featured Stakeholder Series

w/Sean Baker Founder and Publisher of Med City Beat

BY SAMANTHA ROSSI MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

What is your favorite thing Clinic or in the coffee shops about Rochester? and pubs, often serves as a melting pot for these It has to be the energy of folks. Just spend a moment bringing so many different or two sitting down on a types of people together bench at Peace Plaza and in one place. Rochester, you will be humbled by the for a city of its size, has people you meet. an incredible amount of diversity. People move What do you think is the here from all across the best kept secret about country, all across the Downtown? world, and bring their ideas and cultures with them. We all know about the Downtown, whether it be rich history of medical care inside the walls of Mayo and innovation happening here, but I am constantly Page 24

surprised — and encouraged — by the amount of talent that exists locally in other industries. Look no further than the artists putting on exhibits at Gallery 24 or the entrepreneurs bringing new ideas to life inside the Vault or Collider. People in this town are beginning to really seize the moment and put themselves out there. And the best part, I think they are starting to find the support they need to be successful.


VOLUME: 5 / ISSUE N O: 02 / JUNE 2018

What do you think the biggest change will be to Downtown in the next 20 years and what do you look forward to most?

we are working on, we keep our readers in mind. I want this to be a platform that not only provides honest and insightful reporting, but one that gives a We are going to start voice to everyone in the seeing more and more community. people living Downtown. There is no doubt about What has been your most that. Hundreds of new memorable moment(s) apartments, condos and since going into business? senior living units are either being proposed or already That is a tough question. under construction. This I have had the privilege has the potential to make to interview so many Downtown an even more incredible people right here vibrant place — one where in Rochester. To me, there locals feel empowered is nothing more rewarding to be part of the change than sharing stories that taking place here. Of might otherwise might go course, the key will be to untold. But if I had to pick ensure Downtown remains just one, I would say there inclusive and that we don’t was no experience quite like leave anyone behind as playing the carillon above we pursue our greatest the Plummer Building. ambitions. Why is it important to Why did you start the you to be operating from company? What inspired Downtown Rochester? you? Being Downtown means At risk of sounding cliché, being at the center of it I believe in the power of all. As a reporter, this is journalism to be a force critical. Have an interview of good in the community. with the city administrator? On the Med City Beat, we That’s right across the river. try to be as responsive as A meeting with an event possible to the needs of organizer at Café Steam? our readers. Sometimes, That’s just a block over. that means staying up late Plus, I like that anytime I and covering a city council leave the office I have the meeting. Other times, it chance of running into my means giving a spotlight to next story idea. a nonprofit that deserves the recognition. Whatever

Is there something that would surprise people about your business? For those who might not know, Med City Beat got its start through a Kickstarter. At the time I launched the crowdfunding campaign, the site had only been up for a few months and had a small following. To be frank, I’m not sure if I would have been able to continue if the campaign was not successful. But about 100 people in the community — most of whom I did not know at the time — supported my vision and I was able to raise $10,000. Today the site reaches more than 30,000 unique readers each month and has become my full-time job. Without that early encouragement, I would never have been able take this as far as I have. Anything else you would like to include? I would like to add that the success of Med City Beat has really been a collaborative effort. Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to work with dozens of talented writers, photographers and students. It is because of their contributions that the site has been able to reach as many people as it has.

Page 25 © 2018 Rochester Downtown Alliance. All rights reserved | 311 S Broadway Ave, Suite A2, Rochester, MN 55904 | DOWNTOWNROCHESTERMN.COM


Façade Improvement Grant BY KARLI MCELROY PROGRAM MANAGER

Sometimes it’s time for a change, but the cost of exterior upgrades, especially on an older building, can start to add up. Eight years ago, the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) and City of Rochester came together to create the Façade Improvement Program. The program was created to stimulate Downtown improvements and help maintain a highquality business environment. Since 2010 the program has provided over $240,000 in grant dollars. The results have included over 60 projects, which was resulted in $2.5 million dollars invested by property owners. How does it work? Properties that are over three years in age and located in the RDA Special Service District area are eligible to receive up to $20,000 in matching funds. What is even better? Up to $2,000 is available for assistance with design costs. These dollars do not need to be matched and are in addition to the max grant funding available. This means that a project can receive up to $22,000 in financial support. When asked how the Façade Improvement Grant helped her business, Tessa Leung, owner of Grand Rounds Brewing Company said, “[the grant] allowed us to showcase a local artist while at the same time adding a jewel like band to the building. The mosaic was created to represent the sky, water, greenery, and snow of Minnesota. It has helped to differentiate our building to guests and visitors with a pop of color, representing Minnesota as well as Grand Rounds Brewing Co.” Grand Rounds Brewing Co is located in a 150-year-old historic building. In addition to the brewery, several start-up businesses fill the upstairs Vault space. It has been home to a wide variety of other businesses including Union National Bank - built in 1867, Wong’s Chinese Restaurant, and Sontes Wine Bar & Tapas (a Rochester first!). Rumor has it that there is a resident ghost named Lora. An even better reason to ensure her home is well cared for!

Page 26

Photo: Before

Photo: After


VOLUME: 5 / ISSUE N O: 02 / JUNE 2018

A Word From Our Staff Karli McElroy, Program Manager This July, I will be approaching four years of employment with the RDA and in that time, I’ve gotten to know several Downtown business owners. The one thing I am struck by in my conversations with them is how passionate they are about being Downtown and the creative ideas they bring to their businesses. As we approach summer, I’m excited to see many of you outside and thank you for all you bring to Downtown Rochester.

Meghann Southwick, Community & Events Manager The sunshine has arrived, and there is no better time to be Downtown. I love seeing people enjoying a rooftop patio and lounging on the Peace Plaza grass. Summer also means events! Thursdays on First & 3rd begins June 7, and Movies in the Park returns to Central Park on June 16 with new activities and an on-site menu. Who’s excited for the Sidewalk Sale and Dogs Downtown? See you there!

Bill Fay Events Coordinator As we enter the first part of summer, I’m very excited to get into the 2018 Thursdays on First & 3rd season. Everyone involved has put in a lot of work to create what I hope to be another successful summer and it’ll be great to see it all come to fruition for 13 weeks. I’m also excited for the rest of our summer events and programs, and another beautiful summer in Downtown Rochester.

Samantha Rossi, Marketing & Communications Manager The month of June marks my one year anniversary with the Rochester Downtown Alliance and I have to say that I’m still learning something new each and every day; which keeps me extremely excited about my position. I truly enjoy the work I get to do and I look forward to the promotion of the new #MyDowntownRochMN campaign and the other strategic marketing initiatives.

Page 27 © 2018 Rochester Downtown Alliance. All rights reserved | 311 S Broadway Ave, Suite A2, Rochester, MN 55904 | DOWNTOWNROCHESTERMN.COM


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June 2018 Newsletter  

June 2018 Newsletter  

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