Alex Stettinski: Want to know what’s happening downtown? (Voices)
Special to the NNBV
RENO, Nev. — A clean, safe and friendly downtown is critical if Reno wants increased economic activity and tourism to revitalize the district. Luckily, that’s the Downtown Reno Partnership’s mission.
If you haven’t heard of us, yet, that’s OK. We’re an independent nonprofit managing Reno’s business improvement district. The district was established in 2018 and took over two previous city-of-Reno-run special assessment districts.
We do marketing, economic development and run a hospitality ambassador program. You may have seen one of our 20 ambassadors on the street, wearing blue and black uniforms.
We work with service providers, city staff, developers, brokers, organizers and other agencies to accomplish our goals of improving downtown for everyone, but especially for locals, property and business owners like you.
We also have our pulse on “What’s up downtown.” In our monthly column in the Northern Nevada Business Weekly, we will highlight important happenings and talk about what those big headlines — like the sale of the Harrah’s Casino — mean for the future of downtown.
We’re excited by the recently announced projects that plan to add more hotel rooms, apartments, retail and office space to downtown. The change in density and use can start to make downtown into a bustling district full of diverse people and job opportunities.
Looking into the future, there is a lot the Downtown Reno Partnership plans to accomplish. Our goal is to focus more on the economic development and marketing of downtown Reno to help move these projects forward. We’re doing that with five community roundtables: tech startups, brokers, developers, property owners and business marketing.
Economic development is a crucial aspect in improving the quality of life and general revenue of a city. We work with but differ from organizations like the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada in that, while they focus more on industries and job creation, the Downtown Reno Partnership puts a much stronger emphasis on revitalizing the area and recruiting individual businesses.
We also plan to create more special marketing campaigns for events downtown and to develop strategies to recruit targeted businesses to the area.
We already spent our first year building a social media audience (you should follow us on Facebook and Instagram and sign up for our newsletter at DowntownReno.org), telling stories of downtown businesses and earning airtime with local media. We hope to do more of that in 2020.
Our hospitality ambassadors also play a crucial role in the district’s evolution. They help keep the street safe and clean and welcome our locals and tourists.
We plan to hire more ambassadors in July to give us more eyes and ears on the ground to address issues of cleanliness and safety. Our two outreach ambassadors can better coordinate with local service providers to assist vulnerable populations, too. We hope to eventually employ 30 full-time ambassadors in the coming years.
We have a lot to be proud of as an organization that’s been around for a little more than one year, and we will continue our work to ensure downtown Reno is a place people want to live and others are excited to visit.
The Downtown Reno Partnership is incredibly excited about what the future holds for our organization and for downtown Reno as a whole.
Alex Stettinski is executive director of the Downtown Reno Partnership. Reach him for comment at email@example.com.
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