Seasonal promotions are in full swing these days with IDA members hosting holiday markets, tree lightings, parades, shop local programs, ice skating and a wide variety of extraordinary events. It is time we throw open the doors—and streets—for citizens and visitors to experience a magical holiday season as we look ahead toward a new year. Perhaps never before have we all needed more joy in our daily lives, and IDA members are again poised to deliver.
Months of navigating community health priorities have equipped us well for developing new engagement strategies supporting our local businesses and residents. I am confident the potential threat of the omicron variant is simply an element to address in any program design. The recent rash of organized smash and grab crime occurring in several major U.S. cities is less obvious and increasingly frustrating. It is a specific illustration of the first tenant of place management to ensure a clean and safe experience.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused many districts to escalate the provision of clean and safe operations, to return to the essential priority of the 1990s when operations were crucial for revitalizing commercial districts. We are there again today, and recent events reinforce how necessary it will be to pay special attention to the security aspect of the unfolding holiday events. Building consumer confidence is a critical component of IDA’s Building on Recovery for Urban Place Management playbook. It is crucial for the long-term success of our districts, and this holiday season may very well be the picture that drives perception for the year ahead.
Leading organizations are taking extraordinary steps to address potential safety issues head-on. If you have not done so already, convene a gathering with your members, retail stakeholders, visitor bureau and law enforcement representatives, along with key elected officials. Today, let us keep our focus on a SAFE and joyful holiday season while ushering in a new year of hope for a brighter tomorrow.