"We talked a little bit about bed and breakfasts, and how that we
don't for some reason have a strong bed and breakfast presence," he
said. "We wondered if maybe it was because there weren't
entertainment venues on the weekend."
He went on to talk about
suggestions of nightclubs, fine dining, family dining and renewing
the arts and entertainment, either through theatrical clubs or
college events, or both, as well as focusing on family-centered
activities. He closed his comments by saying, "Opportunities exist
for us to build up some of these and attract folks who will visit
and stay for a while."
Snyder's group was also the only group to talk about green
initiatives and possible opportunities there for attracting business
and industry. But they didn't go into any specifics on what might
come out of that.
Cox's final challenge to the three tables was to draw a picture.
To a certain extent this was their final exam, as they were to take
what they had learned in the half-day workshop and illustrate their
vision for the future.
As the three groups displayed their maps, it appeared that they
were all of a like mind. They all recognized that to grow the city,
they were going to have to take care of the county as well, and for
the county to thrive, they had to grow the city.
Their maps included development of the city's north side,
restructuring of the downtown area, a continued presence of wind
technology and redevelopment of the LDC campus.
A couple of the maps included airport expansion, and one did a
relocation and expansion of the fairgrounds and racetrack.
As the day came to an end, Cox summed up what the next steps are
going to be for the city. He stressed that this group, or one like
it, needed to continue. They need to work on establishing unity and
trust between city, county, economic development and other
commerce-related groups, and they need to address some of the
[to top of second column]
As Snyder closed the meeting he told the group: "Today, we have
tried to draw a picture of our future. We've talked about the future
and our vision. The discussions today were great, and I want to
commend you for your effort."
He continued: "We have more work to do, it's going to take all of
us, and we have to work on a process and a strategy. We should not
have assumed we could come out of here with easy answers, and we
didn't. But I will commit to you that I want to take another step
and see how far we can get and what this picture will look like by
the time we are all done."
The group will continue, and the mayor will be scheduling future
[By NILA SMITH]
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