Wednesday August 20, 2014

Downtown changes

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A group of downtown business owners have established a new group to focus on building interest in the city’s core area.

Monday members of Rediscover Downtown (RD) attended the regular meeting of Yorkton Council to share a bit about the group’s goals with councillors.

Terri Pedersen, spokesperson for the new group, said Rediscover Downtown “first met as a group Feb. 6,” with the basic idea of “invigorating and growing the downtown.” She said it was realized the downtown “had been more vibrant” in the past and it was hoped to recreate “that vibrancy.”

With that in mind Pedersen said the group was formed to help bring more interest to the downtown by “holding and supporting downtown events.”

Pedersen said the group is about forging alliances to achieve their goal, including having representation of the Yorkton Business Improvement District, and Tourism Yorkton in attendance at RD’s initial meetings.

With an eye to “collaborating with existing partners,” Pedersen said that is why they asked to make a brief presentation to Council.

As for RD, Pedersen said one of their first efforts was to define the area they would represent. She said it could have been as large an area from Highway #9 to the Gallagher Centre, but ended up with a very small area, instead focusing on only Second and Third Avenue, and the connecting portion of Broadway Street. She added as their initiative grows “we also grow that area.”

While only weeks old, Pedersen said RD has already created a logo to be used in advertising, and a Facebook page with some 375 ‘likes’.

In May a number of events are being planned with associated businesses even as details such as group structure and membership fees are still to be defined.

Councillor Randy Goulden said considering past efforts in the downtown, new streetlights and murals, the creation of RD “compliments what’s going on.”

Coun. James Wilson agreed the new group has to be a positive saying “this is encouraging and exciting.”

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