Co-Directors Julie Bolton and Darcy Reynolds joined Main Street Wilmington in late September, bringing dual leadership and expertise. Along with Director changes came a new mission statement to better reflect the group’s purpose and priorities:
“Main Street Wilmington’s mission is to promote historic preservation and economic development with the goal of maintaining a cultural downtown district that attracts entrepreneurs and retains businesses, serving as a vital hub for housing, shopping, dining and entertainment.”
“One of the most significant changes is the transition away from the old membership model to that of Business Partner,” said Darcy Reynolds. “We want to be inclusive and welcome all downtown merchants to feel involved and invested in the overall community goal of a vibrant downtown. We are all in this together.”
A new events schedule and planning strategies have taken shape, and Main Street Wilmington also has a new graphic brand and look. The website has had a facelift while being optimized to meet security and mobile-first requirements for page ranking and search. Take a look at it here: https://mainstreetwilmington.com/
Although Main Street may be best known for its signature events like Party at the Mural and the Wine Walk, Main Street serves as much more than just downtown party planners.
The group is also focused on the preservation and revitalization of downtown Wilmington. Currently the organization is working with the city to design and develop a system of wayfinding which could include new information kiosks with maps and walking tours and historical building markers.
“We want first-time visitors to Wilmington to become repeat visitors because they had a great experience,” said Julie Bolton. “There are some beautifully restored buildings like the Fife & Bosworth, and the murals that are a hallmark of our city. We want to celebrate and build on what we have in downtown Wilmington.”
What happens in downtown Wilmington throughout the entire year is critically important to its appeal and long term growth. The visitor experience, particularly for pedestrians, is an important focus for Main Street Wilmington.
“We know the downtown experience is combination of many factors,” said Reynolds. “We want to work collaboratively with other local organizations on projects that affect both Wilmington residents and visitors, like streetscape beautification and pedestrian safety.”
Your downtown needs you
With many goals and projects planned for 2017, Main Street Wilmington is counting on community involvement and leadership. There is a new Volunteer Application on the website available to anyone in the community.
“There are many opportunities and you can volunteer at an individual or an organizational level,” said Bolton.
First Merchant Meet & Greet — A Success
Main Street Wilmington hosted its first Merchant Meet & Greet on Friday, February 3rd at Jen’s Deli. With nearly 30 downtown merchants in attendance, information about downtown, new development and upcoming events were discussed. Main Street will also be hosting similar gatherings with property owners and residents of the historic downtown area.
Main Street Wilmington shares an office with the Chamber of Commerce, Energize Clinton County, and United Way at 100 W. Main St.
Co-Directors Darcy Reynolds and Julie Bolton are in-office Tuesday through Friday, but they are often at meetings with merchants in their shops, at the Municipal Building, or “walking the beat” and meeting with community volunteers. It is best to call ahead or email and make an appointment.