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A weekly digest for those who market and manage destinations.
Visit Cincy Proposes Building New Arena to Boost Tourism
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This week, learn why Visit Cincy proposed building a new area in the city, how North Dakota is troubleshooting a declining grocery store presence in rural communities, and how DMOs can make themselves more competitive in tourism funding. Check it out.
Visit Cincy Proposes Building New Arena to Boost Tourism
A proposal by Visit Cincy, a destination marketing and management organization in Cincinnati, suggests building a new arena in the city. The proposed arena is intended to be an alternative option to the existing Heritage Bank Center, which is considered outdated and has a lower seating capacity than other arenas in the region.
One of the key challenges mentioned in this article is the possible need to relocate a portion of I-75 to accommodate the new arena at the current Heritage Bank Center location. The article also provides details about the proposed design of the arena at the West End location, suggesting that it could have a capacity of around 18,000 people.
Existing facilities in Cincinnati hinder its ability to attract major events and generate tourism revenue, citing the need for a new arena to compete for events like the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Jeff Berding, chairman of Visit Cincy, expressed the need for a third-party study to explore how a new arena could be built in the city.
While the presentation by Visit Cincy does not specify the cost or funding sources for the new arena, it outlines plans for a feasibility study and the development of an “arena financing strategy.” The article also mentions the prior push for a new arena by the owners of Heritage Bank Center and the opposition from Hamilton County Commissioners to purchase it.
The potential construction of a new arena in Cincinnati could yield several noteworthy impacts on the city’s tourism landscape. First and foremost, the presence of a modern arena with an expanded seating capacity would elevate Cincinnati’s allure as a prime destination for hosting major events, encompassing concerts, sporting spectacles, and entertainment extravaganzas. This heightened appeal could translate into larger crowds and an influx of visitors from broader geographical regions.
Moreover, hosting these major events often ushers in a substantial surge in tourism revenue, as attendees open their wallets for tickets, accommodations, dining, and retail therapy. The economic repercussions can be far-reaching, benefitting local businesses and fortifying the hospitality sector.
From a competitive standpoint, Cincinnati would wield a potent advantage over neighboring cities, armed with a modern event venue. This newfound prowess could enable the city to lure high-profile events that may have bypassed it due to the limitations of the existing arena.
Simultaneously, Cincinnati’s image would receive a boost, coupled with prime marketing opportunities. Hosting prestigious events and boasting a contemporary arena could serve as a springboard for marketing the city as a vibrant and culturally rich destination.
However, it’s important to highlight that the success of this endeavor hinges on a variety of variables. These include the types of events the new arena manages to attract, the effectiveness of marketing and promotional campaigns, and the overall quality of the visitor experience. In addition, securing funding, addressing construction challenges, and navigating logistical intricacies are critical components in the realization of this project. If executed adeptly, a new arena has the potential to make a substantial positive contribution to Cincinnati’s tourism industry and its broader economy.
How Rural Communities Are Keeping Grocery Stores Alive
The decline of rural grocery stores in North Dakota is requiring creative approaches from communities in order to keep these essential institutions open. The decline in rural grocery stores is attributed to factors like declining populations, distribution costs, and competition from regional shopping centers, online sales, and dollar stores. The article highlights initiatives like the Rural Access Distribution Cooperative (RAD Co-op), where multiple grocery stores collaborate on purchasing and distribution to reduce costs and improve product availability. RAD Co-op has seen success with increased sales and support from the community.
Senate Bill 2273, which allocates $1 million to preserve rural grocery stores and improve food access in North Dakota. The bill aims to provide grants to support rural grocery stores. Community members and leaders emphasize the importance of local grocery stores, as they not only provide essential goods but also contribute to community vitality.
Various examples of how individual store owners have adapted their businesses to survive are provided, such as repurposing event spaces into grocery stores or adding thrift stores to complement grocery sales. The overall theme is that rural communities are finding innovative ways to ensure that grocery stores remain open, recognizing their significance in maintaining community cohesion and health.
Rural destinations can draw several valuable lessons from the article highlighting innovative strategies to sustain rural grocery stores in North Dakota. Firstly, fostering collaboration among multiple grocery stores in the region can lead to cost savings and improved product availability, promoting the idea of cooperative purchasing and distribution systems. Secondly, it’s essential to recognize that strong community support is paramount for the survival of rural grocery stores. Rural destinations should actively cultivate a sense of community and pride in local businesses, emphasizing their role in maintaining community vitality.
Furthermore, rural businesses, including grocery stores, should remain open to adaptation. Owners can consider repurposing underutilized spaces or diversifying their offerings, such as adding thrift stores or complementary services, to attract customers and generate revenue. Additionally, rural destinations should advocate for government support and funding initiatives akin to North Dakota’s Senate Bill 2273, which can provide financial assistance to rural grocery stores, ensuring their continued service to the community.
Not only does this have a significant impact on rural economic development, but also has an impact on tourism, too. If rural areas struggle with accessibility to essential services, then visitors are also struggling. As visitors plan their vacations, the availability of essential services will have an impact on the decision of where they will go, especially families and those who need to accommodate unique health needs. Ensuring that these businesses are easily accessible sets the foundation for a stronger community and stronger tourism industry.
Make Yourself Competitive in Tourism Funding
Many DMOs are responsible for building, maintaining or promoting assets that highlight the very character of their communities. Knowing how to use a marketing strategy to prove sustainability and credibility is essential when vying for funding. Proving to investors that you have a reliable plan to attract end-users, help local businesses and create jobs gives legitimacy to your hard work. Implementing marketing strategy for your project, community or organization can help demonstrate your destination’s credibility and potential for success. This webinar from Bull Moose Marketing covers:
- Synchronizing your strategies with realistic funding goals
- Determining your funding goals and creating actionable plans to reach them
- What funding institutions are looking for when offering grants
- What you need in your toolkit to successfully apply for funds
- Advice on how to stand out in your funding application
For DMOs, winning grants and securing funding can make all the difference in your organization’s efforts in your community. This is why having a solid marketing plan can show funding institutions — and the world — that your vision is worth investing in to make the world a better place.