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Sunday , November 18 2018
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Tag Archives: downtown

DMD Survey Results: Community Support of Downtown Progress Grows

The results are in for the Downtown Management District (DMD) fourth annual downtown survey conducted during the entire month of July, 2018.

“We value what our stakeholders and the general public thinks of the DMD and downtown. I’m pleased to see that the community continues to recognize the progress being made. It’s vital we don’t take this support for granted, and that we keep our finger on the pulse of the public so we can continue to improve our programs and aid in the prosperity of our downtown. This survey offers the kind of insightful criticism and positive feedback that is crucial to the course we set in the coming year.” said DMD Executive Director, Joe Gudenrath.

According to the data, a growing percentage  of respondents favor the direction downtown is headed and have witnessed improvement over the last 12 months.

“The DMD thanks all who participated including our winner of the $100 gift certificate to Anson 11, Jimena Aguirre,” said Gudenrath, adding, “We will always keep the views of the public in mind as we continue our efforts to breathe more life into our downtown through our programs and advocacy.”

The online survey was distributed via local media, social media, flyers, direct mail and e-mail.

Regarding the Current Conditions of Downtown El Paso:

  • 83% of respondents say Downtown is Progressing (up 8% from 2017)
  • 76% of respondents say their Perception of Downtown has Improved over the last 12 months (up 10% from 2017)
  • Among Downtown Visitors, 57% came for Events (up 2% from 2017)
  • Of those events attracting people, Theater Events were the main driver (27%)

Regarding the future of downtown, the public’s top 3 priorities are:

  1. Parking
  2. Safety/Security
  3. Family Friendly Atmosphere and Businesses

Regarding the DMD’s Performance and Services:

  • 92% of respondents gave the DMD a passing grade (“C” or better)
    • “A” = 20% (up 2%)
    • “B” = 53% (up 3%)
    • “C” = 19% (down 3%)
    • “D” = 2% (down 3%)
    • “F” = 2% (down 2%)
  • 54-60% of respondents favored DMD expansion in 3 areas of service:
    • Advocacy and Planning (60%)
    • Economic Development & Grants (56%)
    • Marketing & Promotions (54%)

The fifteen (15) question online survey, made available in both English and Spanish, garnered 694 total respondents.

The DMD utilizes the unscientific, online survey to gauge the opinions of downtown property owners, business owners, employees, visitors and the general public on the present conditions of downtown, future needs, and the performance of the DMD itself.

The results of this survey were shared with the DMD Board at its August 23rd.

DMD Announces New Downtown Bike Rack Program

The El Paso Downtown Management District (DMD) has developed a program to increase the number of bike racks in the downtown community to benefit the property and business owners in addition to cyclists.

“As Downtown El Paso becomes more bicycle friendly, we wanted to come up with a simple process that allows for the request and installation of bike racks within a relatively short amount of time,” said DMD Executive Director Joe Gudenrath. “This program eliminates the disincentive to the property/business owners and encourages the installation of much needed infrastructure.”

The process is simple. Property/business owners fill out the Bicycle Rack Request Form located on the DMD’s website, and submit it to the organization. The DMD and the City will inspect the site to determine compliance with City requirements in relation to the rack’s position on the sidewalk.

Once the site is approved, or an acceptable location is identified, the rack will be installed by the DMD. Maintenance of the racks will also be provided by the DMD. The entire process is expected to take less than 45 days.

The current process requires the property/business owner to apply for a special privilege permit for the placement of a bike rack on private property. Along with the permit, the applicant must purchase the rack, and pay an annual permit fee. Maintenance of the rack also falls on the permit applicant.

Distribution of bike racks under the new program will be based on a first-come, first-served basis of suitable locations.

Funds for this program are limited to approximately 20 racks, and once exhausted, the program will be on hold until additional funds are made available.

First Applicant for Downtown Mural Grant Completes Work

On April 27, 2017, the Downtown Management District Board of Directors approved its first grant application under the recently created Downtown Mural Grant Program.

The applicants, Madhi and Priya Nair of Hotel Indigo located at 325 North Kansas Street, were awarded up to $3,431.10 for the $7,256.66 project that is located at the hotel’s garage entrance along Main Drive.

The program which was established in January 2017, is designed to incentivize the creation and/or restoration of murals visible to the public. A review panel consisting of arts professionals was established to review each proposed mural for quality and appropriateness prior to being reviewed by the Grant Committee and the DMD Board.

The grant program can provide one grant dollar for every private investment dollar up to the maximum grant of $10,000.

The approved mural is now complete and can be seen at Hotel Indigo’s garage entrance on Main Drive. Lead artist on the mural is Grave Herrera, and dimensions of the art are 12 ft. by 7.7 ft.

Applicant, Madhi Nair, serves on the DMD Board of Directors and did not participate in the discussion, deliberation and vote that took place during the review of this application. An affidavit is on file with the DMD acknowledging Mr. Nair’s association with the project.

Eligible applicants can obtain program guidelines and applications by calling the DMD office at 915-400-2294 or by going online.

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Downtown Holiday Fiesta to Ring in Holiday Season on Saturday

The City of El Paso and Destination El Paso will host three festive events in downtown that will create buzz, holiday cheer and excitement throughout the day and the entire holiday season.

The Downtown Holiday Fiesta starts the holiday season in El Paso is set to run from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, December 3.

The Downtown Holiday Fiesta will come alive with the Holiday Market from the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD), WinterFest from Destination El Paso and the Celebration of Lights from the El Paso Parks and Recreation Department.

The Downtown Art and Farmers Market will host a Holiday Market from noon to 8 p.m. on the Pedestrian Pathway and part of Main Street. Visitors can also stop by the El Paso Museum of History to enjoy the holiday themed Digital Wall and write letters to Santa from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Museum of Art will also host a special “Papel Picado” workshop for families from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Destination El Paso will kick-off its WINTERFEST at noon with entertainment, food, holiday shopping and much more. The main attraction will be an outdoor ice skating rink near the Plaza Theatre, which will be open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on December 3. WinterFest will run until January 8, 2017.

Additional information and tickets for the ice skating rink may be found at www.winterfestep.com

City of El Paso Parks and Recreation Department will host the evolve Federal Credit Union Celebration of the Lights at San Jacinto Plaza, beginning with a holiday bazaar at 11 a.m.

For the first time in three years, there will be a lighting ceremony at the plaza starting at 4:30 p.m.The Celebration of the Lights Parade follows the lighting ceremony at 6 p.m.

The El Paso Downtown Holiday Fiesta events are within walking distance of each other.

Event information and a printable map are posted on the El Paso Downtown Holiday Fiesta banner at www.elpasotexas.gov

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Texas Trost Society Announces Major Events for Downtown El Paso in October

The Texas Trost Society is launching an exhibition in the ground-level windows of some of Downtown El Paso’s greatest treasures.

Exhibits will be placed in the display windows of the Plaza Hotel (1930), Kress Building (1937), and Roberts-Banner Building (1910). The ribbon-cutting will be Saturday, October 1st at 10:00 a.m. in Pioneer Plaza; and the exhibits will be completely free to the public.

Max Grossman, Vice-Chair of the El Paso County Historical Commission says, “This is by far the most ambitious exhibition of its kind ever hosted in El Paso and it is funded by numerous corporate sponsors, including Mills Plaza Properties, Humanities Texas, the Hunt Famliy Foundation, MCAD, DMD, Kemp Smith, Western Refining, Martin Lofts, the Electric Company, In Situ Architecture, and several others.”

Malissa Arras, Executive Director of the Texas Trost Society and the Organizer in Chief adds, “This exhibition will educate El Pasoans of our historic building’s irreplaceable value and why they deserve to be saved for their beauty, what they contribute to the region’s history, and their economic potential.”

The Urban Transformations: Visions of the Past and Future of Downtown El Paso exhibition promotes history and culture by providing photographs, tours, contemporary artwork, and educational materials to remind El Pasoans of a time when the city enjoyed a booming economy and subsequently underwent an architectural transformation that rivaled some of the biggest cities in the country, and show them what they can look forward to after our historic core is revitalized.

Six Guns and Shady Ladies will perform between 11:00am and 12pm, and there will be free tours of downtown architecture in both English and Spanish. Additionally there will be coloring books and activities for families.

The exhibits will showcase the transformation of El Paso from a small cattle ranch into a booming metropolis in exhibits curated by Dr. Max Grossman, architectural historian, as well as host artistic works envisioning the future of downtown El Paso in a juried exhibition.

Participating artists include Daniel Rios-Lopera, Peter Svarzbein, Matthew Villarreal, Los Dos, Arturo and Vallarie Enriquez, Candy Mayer, Jessica Tolbert, Marc Stone, and Anne Giangiulio.

That same night, at 7:00pm, the Texas Trost Society will host a fundraiser inside Trost’s W.S. Hills Building (1926). Proceeds will support historic preservation efforts in El Paso. Tickets are $95/person and include food, adult drinks, and live music. The donation also includes a gift and membership to the Tom Lea Institute and Texas Trost Society.

This event, titled Head for the Hills: Live Exhibition and Fiesta, will be held in the Trost-designed W.S. Hills Building (108 1/2 Texas Avenue) from 7:00 pm to 12:00 am.

Head for the Hills pays homage to the artists that have given us an understanding of what it means to be from El Paso del Norte. Attendees will celebrate with music, fashion, live arts, local fare, and dancing in one of the most beautiful buildings downtown has to offer – soon to be a hub for the arts and heritage tourism – with a keynote presentation by J.P. Bryan, renown architectural conservationist and patron of our region’s cultural traditions.

Sponsors for this even include appetizers sponsored by Stonewood, Crave Kitchen and Bar, Malolam, Hillside, and Independent Burger, cocktails sponsored by Jarritos, Hornitos Tequila, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and bar service provided by International Bar.

Live music provided by Frontera Bugalu and D.J. Julio Salgado. Live art by Los Dos, Matthew Poe, Abel Saucedo, Exist, Laura Turon, Zayra Estrada, Paola Martinez, Zeke Pena, Michelle Arnold, and Rogelio Garcia. Prints by Proper Print Shop.

Contact Carolina Franco at 915-533-0048 or by emailing cfranco@tomlea.net.

 

Second Annual DMD Survey Results Released; Downtown’s Image Improving

The Downtown Management District (DMD) conducted their second annual downtown survey during the entire month of July 2016.

The DMD utilizes the unscientific survey to gauge the opinions of downtown property owners, business owners, employees, visitors and the general public on the present and future state of downtown, in addition to the performance of the DMD itself.

“This survey, though unscientific, is a phenomenal tool in getting honest feedback from the people that have an opinion about downtown, our performance, or just want to be heard. We appreciate the time every respondent took to take our survey and we value what they have to say,” said DMD Executive Director, Joe Gudenrath.

The ten (10) question survey made available in both English and Spanish garnered 668 total respondents – 201 of those being Spanish respondents – up from only 15 last year.

Results for the public’s perception of the state of downtown revealed a strong positive perception:

  • 89% say Downtown is Progressing in 2016 compared to 75% in 2015
  • 87% of respondents say Perception of Downtown has Improved over last 12 Months compared to 68% in 2015
  • Among Downtown Visitors, 34% came for Events and 32% came for Shopping

For the future of downtown, results in 2016 reveal that the public’s top 3 priorities shifted to a more recreational focus:

1.     Safety/Security

2.     Diverse Retail and Shopping Options

3.     Family Friendly Atmosphere and Businesses

Last year the survey showed a very positive outlook on downtown, and this year that trend continues with better results. You get a sense that the public is excited about the progress they have witnessed and are enjoying community spaces such as San Jacinto Plaza,” said Gudenrath.

The DMD works to make downtown El Paso the center of commercial, civic and cultural activity in the region, but how well are they performing in the eyes of the public and their stakeholders? According to survey results the DMD improved over last year – 80% of those respondents graded the DMD with an “A” or “B”, compared to 62% in 2015.

50-54% of respondents favored expansion in 3 areas of service:

  • Marketing and Promotions
  • Economic Development 
  • Advocacy and Planning

“The DMD thanks all who participated including our winner of the $100 gift certificate to The Garden, Briana Rodriguez,” said Gudenrath, adding, “In time we can continue to gauge positive or negative trends and act accordingly to do our part in improving downtown with the views of the public in mind.”

The survey was distributed via local media, social media, flyers, direct mail and e-mail, and the results of this survey are now available to the public.   For complete results, visit DowntownElPaso.com