City off to a good start in tourism assessment
Roger Brooks saw a beautiful city when he visited Carson City this week. Unfortunately, some of that beauty exists for now only in his imagination.
Brooks, a tourism consultant, spent three days in the city gathering first impressions much like tourists and passers-by do every day. He saw historic buildings, fantastic restaurants and incredible scenery.
But he also saw a hodgepodge of empty storefronts, ugly and outdated signs and traffic jams.
The bottom line is summed up well in this quote from Brooks: “The potential is tremendous here. It is a beautiful city. The downtown could be awesome.”
Fortunately, the city is already on the way to turning “could be” into “is.”
The vision of our city Brooks saw in his imagination is much like the one that city planners have already put together. You may have seen it in the Envision Carson City video the city unveiled earlier this year, which featured wide sidewalks, clear signage and roads free of bumper-to-bumper traffic.
So it’s clear that everyone agrees on where Carson City needs to go.
Now the hard part begins. To get there will require a lot of cooperation and willingness to compromise on the part of downtown business owners. That process has also begun with an association of downtown businesses.
Meanwhile, it makes sense for the Convention & Visitors Bureau board to continue the process it’s begun with Brooks, spending $10,000 to $15,000 on a community branding, development and marketing action plan.
It will all work toward attracting tourists who will stay longer and spend more money in Carson City, but that’s not even the most important outcome.
That pales in comparison to community pride, something that runs strong in any beautiful city.