Friday, September 5, 2008

Downtown Dreaming and Doing

Once again, the Rogers-Lowell Chamber of Commerce reminds us of what a Chamber can and should do. It initiated and funded the Vision 2025 planning process for the city with a focus on downtown Rogers, and now it is recommending expansion of the plan from the 12-block historic core to a 60-block downtown area. The long-term goal is a downtown development company modeled after the successful River City Co. in Chattanooga.

The increased size of the downtown planning zone would justify a full-time Chamber employee who would focus solely on the advancement of downtown Rogers. "The most critical component for progress in downtown Rogers is a dedicated individual who wakes up every day thinking about downtown Rogers," said Chamber downtown sector chairman David Swearingen. "Initially, this person will focus on marketing, promotion, recruitment of employers and proactive economic development, and would operate separately but in concert with Main Street Rogers."

Other parts of the downtown sector's plans include declarations of support for existing downtown facilities, specifically the Rogers Historical Museum, the Daisy Airgun Museum, and the Victory Theater. It also suggests that the appearance of downtown Rogers could be improved by upkeep of pocket parks, sidewalks, entry points and public spaces and by a coordinated effort with the Master Gardeners group for downtown projects. In addition, the plan calls for a facility built to make the Farmers Market a year-round, European-style market modeled after the St. Louis Soulard market.

What are our local Cowbirds doing to enhance the vitality and quality of life in Downtown Fayetteville?

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