Specialty Markets and Trends

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.  

Fostering Resiliency: Helping Your Downtown Rebound after COVID

Over the past decade, downtowns have enjoyed a revival not seen since the middle of the 20th century. And then COVID-19 hit. Now that consumers are clamoring for a return to normal activity, it’s time to reevaluate your downtown. To do that, it’s important to understand who your visitors are. 


This free webinar was presented by Buxton. To learn more about them go to www.buxtonco.com. Click “Buy Now” to get your free access to this recording today. 

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.

Jeff Vinik Master Talk

The Lightning’s success under Vinik has coincided with the emergence of a development company, Strategic Property Partners (SPP), LLC and its plan to develop approximately 60 acres in downtown Tampa’s south core into a new district entitled ‘Water Street Tampa.’ Vinik is expecting to deliver approximately $3 billion in investment to bring Water Street Tampa to life and reinvent the blocks surrounding AMALIE Arena into a walkable, 24-7 live, work, play and stay wellness district.

Downtown Strong Small Business Impact Fund

In March of 2020 Twenty-two thousand office workers disappeared. Three-million visitors vanished. Our local retailers were shuttered. If ever there was a time to get creative, this was it. The decision was made to create a small matching grant program with an initial budget of $10,000 from our marketing account. A brand, Downtown Strong, and logo were created, and we began to promote the opportunity to our downtown businesses and non-profits.

Hero Meals

Facing one of the first COVID shutdowns in the country, our restaurants were faced with immediate lost revenues, extra food, and a desire to help those fighting on the front lines of the pandemic. The Downtown Tacoma Partnership stepped in creating a site for people to purchase Hero Meals from downtown restaurants we delivered to the front-line workers keeping our community moving.

Small Business Disaster Relief Forgivable Loan Program

Recognizing the significant economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our local businesses, the BBCRA Board approved the creation of the Small Business Disaster Relief Forgivable Loan Program (SBDRLP) and the allocation of $1 million in program funding. Using these funds, the BBCRA provided eligible businesses a forgivable loan of up to $10,000 to offset costs associated with utility, payroll or inventory expenses.

Advancing Places: Developing, Reporting and Communicating Annual Progress

Communicating the progress occurring in your district annually can come in many forms. Join this session and learn from three UPMO leaders who are gathering data and creating a benchmark for tracking development, investment, housing, and other areas of importance. These reports are used to better understand the current state of their downtowns and to help determine priorities and action steps. Learn how sharing the results can elevate your credibility and attract new investment.

Advancing Places: Understanding Your Place in Economic Development

Knowing where your organization fits into the overall economic development strategy of your community and knowing your role is important. Join us as this experienced panel of place management and commercial real estate professionals share insights and tips on how to navigate your community as well as the real estate development community to create a win-win in bringing business to your district.

Advancing Places: Capital Market Insights, Real Estate and Economic Forecast

The pandemic-induced work-from-home experiment has altered perspectives on work, flexibility and the office. When COVID-19 is no longer a lingering health concern, workers will not be expected to come into the office for tasks that can be done from anywhere. What purpose does the office serve in the future and how will that purpose impact the way occupiers think about their portfolio footprints, location strategy and office layouts?

Advancing Places: Small-scale Manufacturing

Shared spaces for businesses in downtowns are key to reviving a local economy, jumpstarting new businesses and putting people back to work. These spaces also help to break down racial barriers between business owners, creating targeted actions to better support black-owned businesses and other owners of color. Inclusive shared spaces, both formal or informal, in newly vacant storefronts are an essential ingredient to maintain our places and build a stronger, more resilient local economy.

Advancing Places: Entrepreneurship and Retail Pop-Ups

With the pandemic lingering into the coming months, unfortunately we are all seeing vacancies pop up in our districts. Join this session and learn about how two downtown organizations and one economic development corporation worked with partners to create pop-up retail programs to recruit, train and assist entrepreneurs with starting a business.

Advancing Places: Economic Development Foundations

Successful economic development approaches can sustain a healthy, diverse and prosperous district economy. This session will explore major trends in economic development and see which approaches local leaders and officials are utilizing in their organizations. Panelists will explore the various stages of the economic development process and explore the myriad of practices associated with successful district economies. Regardless of your experience, walk away with an updated toolbox of financing tools and economic programs to strengthen your district through development agreements, tax credit programs, revolving loan programs and redevelopment initiatives.

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.

Authority in Data: Building out your Research Program

Learn how to build out your research program beginning with the basic State of Downtown to more advanced reports such as a Development Activity Report and COVID response report. With a strong research program, UPMOs will become the go-to expert in their downtown. This expert status with help shape your brand and serve your members. Come away with a realistic plan to build a robust research program given budget, staff and time constraints.

The Post-Pandemic Boom for Main Street Commerce

As we anticipate the economic recovery that will come after the COVID-19 pandemic ends, all signs point to the re-emergence of main streets as the place people will turn to for retail shopping and dining. A new generation of entrepreneurs will be eager to start a fresh chapter in their lives. This timely presentation will illustrate how well-managed and attractive downtowns offering the type of safe, experiential, and social interaction sought by all.

COVID Spending Insights from Mastercard (FKA Mastercard SpendingPulse™)

Mastercard SpendingPulse™ has become a leading economic and industry research service to monitor and forecast consumer spending across multiple industries and markets. Reports use advanced models to calculate total and sector-level retail sales based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, survey-based estimates for other payment types (including cash), and tune for macroeconomic factors.

Jennifer Vey Master Talk

Jennifer Vey’s work at the Brookings Institution primarily focuses on the connection between placemaking and inclusive economic development in the digital economy. She is the author or co-author of numerous Brookings publications, including Transformative Placemaking: A framework to create connected, vibrant, and inclusive communities and Assessing your Innovation District: A how-to guide.

Bruce Katz Master Talk

Bruce Katz is the Founding Director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Previously he served as inaugural Centennial Scholar at Brookings Institution and as VP and director of Brooking’s Metropolitan Policy Program for 20 years. He is a Visiting Professor in Practice at London School of Economics, and previously served as chief of staff to the secretary of Housing and Urban Development and staff director of the Senate Subcommittee on Housing and Urban Affairs.

Downtown 2.0, Livingston County Commercial District Assessment

The Downtown 2.0 Commercial District Assessment, a comprehensive plan for the County and its nine downtowns, identified shared downtown challenges and established a set of clear strategies and tactics for the County to collectively address business attraction and sales growth, capital investment, and redevelopment.

Downtown St. Pete Development Guide

Not only a economic benchmark report, this documents delves into topics such as the adjacent residential neighborhoods and education. It was designed to memorialize our progress as an urban center and provide a road map to our community leaders for thoughtful growth into the future. Through our research in this project, we were able to forecast public and private investments approaching $8 billion will be spent in our city center.

The State of Cape Town Central City Report 2018: A Year in Review

The Report is intended to provide an accurate and comprehensive overview of the downtown economy, to encourage local, national and global investment in downtown Cape Town. The Report’s unique approach is that it not only gives a detailed breakdown (in numbers) of the main economies of the Cape Town Central Business District (CBD), as it is a year in review, it also identifies key themes that emerged and how the city and Big Business responded to them.

Then and Now: An Analysis of Downtown Retail – Parts 1 & 2

The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association’s (DVBIA) two-part series, “Then and Now: An Analysis of Downtown Retail”, quantifies and benchmarks retail in the DVBIA’s 90-block catchment between 2012 and 2018. Part 1 examines non-edible goods and services, while Part 2 examines the food and beverage sector. The reports identify retail mix, average annual growth rates, business openings and closings and the percentage of businesses operating for 10 years or more.

Downtown Houston Market Research Summary: Attracting Residents

This sample research report was conducted to help The Houston Downtown Management District develop a “lifestyle profile” for downtown Houston. Through surveys of downtown workers and residents in downtown adjacent neighborhoods HDMD aimed to determine: 1. what was missing from downtown 2. which unique features of downtown are currently most important and 3. what would be most attractive to target audiences.

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.

Paw-Pup Dog Park

The Thelda Williams Paw-Pup Dog Park is a temporary activation in downtown Phoenix, created using a license agreement between the Downtown Phoenix Partnership and the City of Phoenix.

Supporting the Growth of Technology Companies

The DC government has made the growth and attraction of technology companies a top economic development priority. To encourage existing companies to grow and stay in the District, and to attract new companies, the City developed the Qualified High Technology Companies (QHTC) incentive program.

Developing a Retail Strategy

All downtowns are dealing with the changing world of retail and developing strategies for retention and attraction. Learn from Cherry Creek North, Downtown Memphis and Downtown OKC, three very distinct downtowns, as they discuss their respective approaches for filling vacant spaces and retaining and attracting retailers.   

Managing the Nighttime Economy

A strong Nighttime Economy is made up of more than just a string of restaurants and bars in close proximity. A variety of experiences must be available in order for districts and communities to encourage visitors to linger and visit multiple entertainment options. However, what is even more vital are the often overlooked things. Discuss how Ops teams provide the foundation through infrastructure and amenity management that encourage strong nighttime economy opportunities.   

Developing a Retail Strategy

All downtowns are dealing with the changing world of retail and developing strategies for retention and attraction. Learn from Cherry Creek North, Downtown Memphis and Downtown OKC, three very distinct downtowns, as they discuss their respective approaches for filling vacant spaces and retaining and attracting retailers.   

College Town Summit 2019 Master Talk Slides

Slides from the master talks sessions featuring Downtown Durham Inc.’s Nichole Thompson, David Dixon from Stantec, and Justine Hollingshead, Chief of Staff and Assistant Vice Chancellor / Packapalooza Planning Team Co-Chair, NC State University Division of Academic and Student Affairs.

The Balancing Act of Managing Nightlife

Jim Peters, Founder and President of the Responsible Hospitality Institute moderates a panel of urban place management organization leaders with nightlife programs and discusses the rise of the Night Mayor role for urban centers.

Retail Apocalypse: Fact or Fiction

A presentation on the future of downtowns as retail and business centers in a post-online shopping world. Is the retail apocalypse coming or has the report of the demise of brick and mortar been greatly exaggerated? This presentation walks through the common myths and misconceptions around the changing retail landscape in an increasingly digital world.

Economic Development 101 for Downtown Organizations

A presentation on the fundamentals of downtown economic development, its importance, and the difficulties a downtown organization might face in planning for economic development. This presentation is meant for districts looking to get started with economic development programs.

Suburbanization of Hip

MJB Consulting presents how even in the suburbs, retail is becoming more “hip” as demand for these kinds of stores goes mainstream. However, this can raise new complications as these types of retail manage different store typologies in suburban areas, dealing with property owners, and the perception of pushing out long-time local businesses. While this evolution can be painful, it is critical for regions to thrive and BIAs can play a role in facilitating this change.

Craft Data-Informed Persona in Places of All Sizes

Downtown associations know their attraction and retention results are due in part to their marketing efforts. But how do you produce content that helps your downtown stand out from the rest? In this panel, downtown regions like Bozeman, MT; Los Angeles, CA; and Memphis, TN will discuss how marketing their narrative started with understanding the unique pieces of their story – namely, their data.