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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington city leaders have agreed the investment of $60,000 is worth the cost. That’s how much money from the city’s parking fund they are giving a marketing task force to encourage folks to shop and dine downtown.

“Bring it! Downtown” is the branding the marketing task force made up of local business and property owners is pushing.

Joan Loch with the Downtown Business Alliance, which is spearheading the project said, “We are always having new people relocate here. We need to educated them and entice them.”

Loch says the group will use radio, print and TV to spread the message.

Although the idea is new to many in the public, the task force has been working on the project for eight months. Loch says the group is also investing money back into the local economy.

John Laforgia of Porters Neck says he supports the city’s decision to invest $60,000 in the project.

“Sixty thousand dollars? I don’t think that’s too much money to spend on advertising in a city of this size,” Laforgia said.

Buying downtown is exactly the goal and the task force is hoping its marketing technique will bring the masses.

“It’s to make them sit up and say you know what I haven’t gone downtown too often. I need to go back down there again, I need to take my child to the children’s museum. I need to go to the public library,” Loch said.

The $60,000 coming from the city for the project will be spent in two phases. Half will come from this year’s budget and the other half from next year’s budget.

Comment on this Story

  • Beach Bum

    First off, there is nothing convienant downtown.

    The notion of a two way street on Front Street, years ago, should of been the first clue phone. Now the city planners gimp up 3rd street by shrinking travel lanes for parking?

    Brilliant. Just brilliant planning and fore sight.

    The entire atmosphere leaves a lot to be desired. Besides all the part time hippies, you have the homo’s and dykes, the g.i.’s from Lejune, as well as, the normal mutts you have to deal with while you are shopping in extremely over priced stores, or being forced to be around a shady bar environment and absolutely no convienant parking or even traffic flow. Look at how long it takes for traffic to clear out after a fireworks demo downtown. Well over 2 hours.

    I think the people and planners of Wilmington and New Hanover County should get real and realize you can only squeeze so many people into a small area. It would appear the rational thought process and/or common sense waved bye bye to the occupants of Wilmington and New Hanover County long ago. And now those occupants have the audacity to piss and moan about annexation or a ball park and they are not happy with a 60k marketing scheme?

    All hypocrites… All.

  • GetInvolved

    Now THAT is one clever reply. Boy, you got even with me. You didn’t address my point though. Let me repeat this s-l-o-w-l-y; quit complaining, quit throwing barbs, quit bashing others for what they are doing/not doing…and try to make our town a better place. You’ll feel better, instead of making stupid replies. xo

  • Guest1111

    What in someone’s personality makes them degrade someone or some organization with incorrect comments? From what I can attest to, the DBA organization has been in existence for 35 years, has always had involvement in downtown to support, unite and promote the downtown community. It sponsors some wonderful events such as Rims On The River, (if you like vintage cars and cycles) and Art Blast and Art Walk supporting the cultural and artist community. Furthermore, the “money” is not being given to DBA or WDI, it is being used to implement a professional marketing plan researched and written by 7 long term business owners in downtown pro bono “free” meaning no cost to the taxpayer “you”. Why not feel better that money that is allocated every year is being responsibly spent taking into account input from the community allover (not just downtown but Pine Valley, Landfall and perimeters to the city. And all the money is being cycled back into the local community with the choice of printers and media companies. What’s not to support about that?

  • Guest1111

    Thank you…you have had the most rational intelligent comment so far in response to WWAY online reporting. You are on point regarding the deficiencies on the parking. Please note the businesses are just as frustrated from what is said…they would not want to lose customers because of a negative experience. More benchmarking of other cities certainly needs to take place. Maybe change will start with the volunteer efforts of this task force.

  • ChefnSurf

    Notwithstanding the fact that the entire concept of still actually having a “DOWNTOWN” in today’s modern world is passe; “Bring It”, that’s the best they’ve got?

    That’s $7500 a letter if you include the space between them as one of the letters.

    This is the best effort that all of the businesses in “DOWNTOWN” could come up with? “DOWNTOWN” doesn’t need a Convention Center or a Ballpark, it needs an insane asylum.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    Welcome, dimwit!

  • Buster

    We didn’t “Do it Downtown” and “Bring it” sounds more like desperation or an invitaion to a fight.

    How many more times does Wilmington need to revitalize, rebrand, revamp…before someone finally gets it? Downtown shopping was replaced by air conditioned shopping malls and convenience stores with free parking years ago.

    Baseball, hotdogs and apple pie has been replaced with flatscreen TVs with 500 channels, microwave popcorn and beer.

  • People….We Need To Really Get Vocal About A Newly Proposed 3 cent Tax Increase (since they don’t seem to be bothered by throwing my money away.) They have enough of my money already!!!

  • Guest7969

    what they did was ILLEGAL…as they transferred money here, then there, then back to here so they could give the money…because they couldn’t give the money DIRECTLY…they just went around it…but nobody is going to take them to task on it…

  • Guest7969

    BRING IT…I assume the mean lots of money for the parking meters…

  • Get Involved

    What would it take for you ‘expert’ commentators to stop writing all this negative garbage and get involved in our community? You don’t like what’s going on in OUR TOWN, fine. Despite the brain power demonstrated by everyone’s obviously well-informed positions on these pages (sic), how about you roll up your sleeves? You don’t like the ‘people in power’, fine, find someone you do like…or get yourself in power. It ain’t that hard. At a minimum your voice could be heard by someone other than those voices in your head and/or the other dimwits on these comment pages.

  • Citizen of the Republic

    The people say “keep it”.

    The powers that be just don’t understand the real problem that keeps people from coming downtown, or coming back to downtown.

    The parking situation is horrible. The spaces are small, the rate is high, and the penalty for an expired meter is severe in this economy.

    Has the city tried turning the street parking places into extra space for business to use. The parking decks would be the only option for parking, and could be capped at $5 a day. At least customers would know they wouldn’t be getting a ticket, and it would be fairly convenient for most. Handicapped individuals could call and have a city van or other means of transport pick them up and take them to the shops.

    Charleston and Savannah are incredible walking towns. It seems they have found a way to make it into a great stroll with many business to choose from, with little traffic. And, I’ve never seen a parking ticket being written, or on a car. I’m sure they have them, I just haven’t see one.

    This is just an idea. But anything is better than coming back to your car and seeing a ticket hanging on the wiper. This is an instant business killer. The taste of that experience will take years to get out of your mouth.

    When your asking someone to come spend money at your business, and your already behind in the race because of parking fees, and let’s face it, it’s more expensive downtown, you have to have some creative thinkers to draw people in.

    When the “Bounty” was here my wife and I went to see it. On the way back, I saw parking enforcement write 5 tickets while we were walking back to the parking deck.
    Those 5 people will think hard and long before they come out of their way to downtown, when they could go somewhere in the county for free.

    It also reminded me why I don’t go downtown more often.

  • Besty_Guesty

    Crime? Drugs? Rapes? Assaults? Robberies? Potholes? Congestion? High Taxes? Wasteful Spending? Et cetera

    No need to “Bring It! Downtown”

    It is already there!

  • Guest2020

    The Downtown Business Alliance is literally about six people, if that. They get no one at their meetings, if they have any. Why are we giving them any money?

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