Archive for Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tourism study recommends city to take advantage of historic sites

November 17, 2011

A consultant’s study of Baldwin City’s tourism opportunities is complete; now local officials want to share those results with residents.

The Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Tourism Bureau are inviting all parties interested in promoting Baldwin City to a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at The Lodge as a result of the study that started in the late spring.

The chamber and bureau hired David Reynolds, a consultant with DKReynolds and Associates, to conduct the study, which included assessments and evaluation of Baldwin City’s tourism assets. Reynolds then made an analysis of his findings and recommendations on what the Baldwin City community can do to better attract visitors to the town.

“(Reynolds) spent three months conducting this study, put together a plan for (the Tourism Bureau and Chamber of Commerce) on how to continue to advance tourism in Baldwin, and we had the results of it brought back to us,” Tourism Bureau Chair Shawna Garber said.

Garber said Reynolds suggested a meeting for various groups to determine how they and the Tourism Bureau can partner together. She said there was a lot of overlap between many of the groups in Baldwin City and knowing what each other is doing would help to expand resources and accomplish more.

“There are a lot of groups in Baldwin that are essentially bringing in out-of-town folks or somehow promoting Baldwin … we have some ideas based on the results of the study of how we can increase our communication,” Garber said.

Garber and the bureau have presented the results of Reynolds’s study to the city as well as the Chamber of Commerce board and the members of the chamber.

Reynolds’s recommendations are to start with the basic ideas first so the city can create a strong foundation on which to build. 

Many of the recommendations include pulling resources together and connecting projects, promoting and developing the downtown Baldwin City, developing a community brand and working to improve weak points.

The study pointed out the weaknesses and strengths of tourism in community, one of the strengths being the history that surrounds Baldwin City.

“Baldwin City is blessed to have a number of historic sites and historic attractions,” the the final report from Reynolds states.

Ideas in the study to improve the city include updating signs around Baldwin City and U.S. Highway 56, making small changes in Baldwin City brochures and improving customer service.

Garber said the bureau and chamber would implement some of the ideas from Reynolds, and Monday’s meeting will be a starting point.
“The meeting is going to address a specific component but not go over the entire (study),” Garber said.

To receive an electronic copy of the full Tourism Development Plan, contact Shawna Garber by phone (785) 594-3244 or email shawna@threesistersinn.com.

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