Supporting Vital Downtown Areas at a Statewide Level

Visit California and the Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development show important efforts to support all regions of California. These programs are meant to support community sustainability, economic diversification, and drive engagement of local partners in tourism and economic development activities.  

Breaking Down Silos – Centering Downtowns in Regional Tourism

From local restaurants and breweries to unique cultural experiences, main streets are often a key brand pillar for tourism destinations and integral hubs of the visitor economy. Join speakers as they unpack strategies to foster partnerships with state and county destination management organizations and align rural downtown assets with regional tourism strategies. 

24/7 Sociable Cities: Keeping it Safe and Fun

Daytime to nighttime sociability is critical for sociable cities to thrive 24/7. Social spaces—where people dine, drink and dance—are key to a city’s social and cultural fabric. But at night, transit stops, the government shuts down and police are the catch-all. A comprehensive plan with coordinated security is crucial to nightlife management. Learn about Sacramento’s story of building alliances to manage risk and enact a rapid response to crisis situations.  

Greg Pepitone Master Talk

Greg Pepitone is a Senior Economist at Tourism Economics with over 13 years of experience providing strategic advisory services to clients in the tourism, sports, and meeting sectors. He focuses in the areas of economic and fiscal impact assessment, market viability and strategy, business planning and analysis, and facility and other capital project planning. Prior to joining Tourism Economics, Greg was a Manager in PwC’s Hospitality & Leisure Practice.

Rob Higgins Master Talk

Since 2004, Rob Higgins has promoted the development of community sports and led the Tampa Bay Sports Commission as the principal organization that bids on and hosts sports and entertainment events in the Tampa Bay area.

Leveraging your Ass-ets Off: Building a Tourism Toolkit for Downtown

Americans don’t go to Paris to hang out with other Americans. Discover how doubling down on your unique assets —especially in light of COVID’s impact— can yield surprising results when harnessed with the marketing and financial resources associated with a too often overlooked partner: your local Destination Management Organization (DMO). Join this discussion to learn more about DMOs and how partnership can enhance your economic development efforts.

Sharing Revenues and Increasing Tourism

After years of discussion between local property owners, the City and the DCCP, a permanent stage was created. The stage is a result of a cost-sharing agreement between the City of Chandler and the DCCP. The City of Chandler’s maximum contribution was $250,000 for the project, and the DCCP’s contribution was $100,000. The DCCP’s contribution will be paid back to the City over a five-year period. The City will pay 25 percent of all stage rental fees to the DCCP for a period of 10 years.

Completion of the Boynton Harbor Marina Redevelopment Project

January 2017 marked the completion of the Marina Open Space Project, one of three redevelopment phases of the Marina Redevelopment Plan. The marina was purchased by the Boynton Beach CRA to maintain the “working waterfront” and ensure public access. The marina has nineteen, water-activity related businesses and three waterfront restaurants. The operation of the marina and the creation of much needed public waterfront areas is consistent with the mission of the Boynton Beach CRA and the Boynton Beach Downtown Vision & Master Plan.

City of Arcades

FOR Cardiff has struggled to identify its USP and wanted to address this by using one of the city’s best assets to attract new and old visitors, the beautiful arcades. They utilized FC Ambassadors to gather feedback from businesses, researched other independent shopping campaigns, and identified a need to first win-back Cardiff shoppers who were already aware of the arcades and encourage new visitors and customers.


IMMERSE is the annual performing and interactive arts event from the Creative City Project. 2018 platformed more than 1,000 artists and performers for an audience of 45,000 people. Creative City Project staff works with artists to create site-specific performances and installations in the streets of public spaces of downtown Orlando. IMMERSE 2018 connected residents of and visitors to Orlando with unique creative encounters that transform the way people see and experience the urban core.

CC2DCA Pedestrian Connection Feasibility Study

The Crystal City BID saw an opportunity to further leverage the DCA airport’s proximity to their downtown by bringing it a few steps closer. A new pedestrian connection could harness the multitude of transportation assets in Crystal City, seamlessly link them into a multimodal hub, and position the neighborhood to attract additional rail services such as Amtrak, regional commuter rail, and even a future high-speed rail station.

Molly Turner Master Talk

Molly Turner is the Global Head of Civic Partnerships at Airbnb, where she built and directs the company’s public-private partnerships program. She works with the Airbnb local community and their civic leaders on a variety of projects focused on sustainability, economic development, resiliency and hospitality. She also directs Airbnb’s policy research examining the business model’s various impacts on urban economics, environment and communities.

The Best of Cape Town Central City 2018 guide

The Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) began to look for ways to promote the many offerings that had become integral to the Central City and, in particular, to add value to the stakeholders that had invested in the CBD in “Eat”, “Stay”, “Play” “Shop” or “Visit” destinations. To fulfill this, “The Best of Cape Town Central City” guide was created in 2009, originally published in conjunction with the internationally reknown “Time Out” brand.

Re-Imagining the River Barge Experience

San Antonio’s River Walk is one of the city’s most distinguishing features. Designed constructed between 1938 and 1940, the linear park is among the highest rated tourist attractions in Texas. For the city’s 300th anniversary in 2018, City leaders wanted to re-imagine the river barge experience with a newly designed, more sustainable and modular fleet using innovative technology to meet the needs of tourists and residents. The public was made part of the design and selection process.

Culture is Key

From urban adventure games and the world’s largest steampunk festival to some of the best Christmas markets in Europe, cities in the UK are actively developing cultural and events programmes that nurture local distinctiveness and attract people and trade. Learn how they engage with partners and develop a cultural strategy that is engaging and sustainable without spending millions.

Mapping Authenticity: Contemporary Mapping

Maps are the primary way that we orient ourselves to places. But they aren’t neutral: by highlighting some features while obscuring others, they are powerful tools for making meaning. Today, civic data and mobile technologies give us unprecedented control over visualizing place — and new ways for telling authentic, place-based stories.