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Downtowners to hold fall conference

Downtowners to hold fall conference

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The Downtown Business Association of Bismarck will be hosting their fourth annual fall conference on Wednesday and Thursday.

The goals of this year’s conference is to educate downtown stakeholders on the positive impacts of a healthy downtown and provide a forum to discuss revitalization.

“This year culminates a goal for us,” said Kate Herzog, assistant director of the Downtowners. “We’re looking to do some statewide goal setting and start the conversation about having a statewide Main Street Organization.”

The Main Street Four-Point Approach was founded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as an economic development tool to aid in the revitalization of local downtowns.

“The national trend is to revitalize downtowns and we know that the downtown is the vital piece of talent recruitment and it is the most tax efficient area,”Herzog said.

The four steps are organization, promotion, design and economic restructuring.

The conference will provide a forum to discuss whether a Main Street program would be helpful for all North Dakota communities, Herzog said.

For the first time, this year’s keynote presentation will be open to the public.

The keynote speaker is Doug Burgum, founder of the Kilbourne Group in Fargo.

He will discuss how to build a vibrant community.

Other speakers include Thom Guzman, director of the Iowa Downtown Resource Center, and Katherine Correll, executive director of Downtown Colorado Inc., who will discuss how a Main Street program works.

The final speaker, Mike Zimney, from Ulteig Engineers, will give a presentation called Walkable and Liveable on the science of why people like some streets, but will avoid others.

The conference will include a walking tour, the Small Space Tour, of Bismarck for stakeholders to see how local businesses utilize that space.

Registration will be open up to Wednesday morning nce it’s filled.

The conference will be located at the North Dakota Heritage Center on Oct. 15, and at Dakota Stage on Oct. 16.

For more information visit downtownbismarck.com.

Reach reporter Karee Magee at 701-250-8251 or karee.magee@bismarcktribune.com.

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