FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 23, 2013) — Economic strategies for utilizing historic downtown buildings to recruit and foster restaurants, merchants and other businesses is the focus of the annual Kentucky Main Street Program Winter Conference today through Friday at Stratton Community Center in Shelbyville.
“The whole downtown community is looking forward to welcoming local managers from across the state as well as others affiliated with local programs, including board members, business leaders and elected officials,” said Eilene Collins, executive director of Shelby Development Corporation. “We last hosted a statewide Main Street meeting in 2006, so we are fortunate to have another opportunity to show off our downtown, and all that Shelbyville has to offer, to this group and the nationally known speakers coming in to work with them.”
The keynote speaker, Tom Moriarity, is a principal with The Eisen Group in Washington, D.C., and a founder of the National Main Street Center in the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He will address economic incentives and the role of the Main Street manager, market research and volunteer participation in local programs, and take part in a panel discussion about how programs should be structured within local government. Other speakers include Albert Schmid with Sullivan University’s National Center for Hospitality Studies, on culinary tourism in Kentucky; Dan Korman, owner of Park + Vine in Cincinnati, on how to attract cutting-edge retailers to downtown; and Tony Dehner, distilled spirits administrator for the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, on findings from the Governor’s task force on the study of Kentucky’s ABC laws.
Administered by the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office, the Kentucky Main Street Program is the oldest statewide downtown revitalization organization in the nation, which encourages downtown revitalization, public-private partnerships and economic development within the context of historic preservation and utilizing cultural assets. The emphasis for this meeting, economic restructuring, is one of the tenets of the Main Street Four-Point Approach developed by the National Main Street Center and emphasized by the Kentucky program, along with design, organization and promotion.
The Kentucky Main Street Program can document more than $3.6 billion reinvested in Kentucky since 1979. In 2011 alone, participating communities reported more than $177 million invested in downtowns, representing 481 net jobs in Main Street districts, 311 new businesses created, and 314 downtown buildings rehabilitated.
Community Main Street programs require local commitment and financial support to qualify for participation in the statewide network. A manager administers activities through a volunteer board, while the Heritage Council provides technical and design assistance, program resources and training.
For more information, contact Scot Walters, Heritage Council site development manager, at 1-502-564-7005, ext. 133 or [email protected].