What’s Next for DWA?

Yesterday, Thursday January 17th, I spent the morning and into the early afternoon with a group of people making strategic decisions for the Downtown Waynesville Association (DWA).  As an at-large (no longer merchant) member of the Board of Directors, I attended the annual planning meeting.

Around the table sat 17 people who each have a unique view and vision for the DWA and its role on Main Street, in the Town of Waynesville, in our community and in our region.  The Mayor of Waynesville, Gavin Brown attended along with the Town Manager and the Assistant Town Manager.  The three of them are responsible not just for the municipal service district (MSD) that is the DWA but also for the rest of the Town: Historic Frog Level, Hazelwood, Russ Avenue and all of the nooks and crannies within the town limits.  It is interesting to hear and listen to the perspective of growth and service that these three individuals possess and pass along to the other staff and elected officials and appointed committees within the Town of Waynesville.

Many in the group owned commercial property within the MSD – yet another perspective on the use and stewardship of a great resource to our entire region.  Some of them spoke of “holding out” for the right tenant to enrich and strengthen our NC Main Street town.  Others spoke of the tax burden being heaped upon the struggling merchants and galleries.  Another interesting group were the real estate agents who happened to play dual roles such as property owner and/or retailer.

All in all a group of people who with vision and discussion crafted a four point plan of attack for 2013 in the MSD of the Downtown Waynesville Association.  The four points are

Organization: strengthen by-laws to improve performance of the group; work effectively with groups outside of the MSD to provide programs and services within the MSD and to be involved in programs outside the MSD; increasing involvement of all board members

Promotion: event and festival planning guidelines and participation guidelines for merchants, galleries and organizations; guidelines for if and when alcohol will be allowed at events; some new festivals or events being added to the calendar

Gateway to the Smokies sign at night

Gateway to the Smokies sign at night

Design:  sign ordinance review and input to give to the Town committee working on this issue; local historic district consideration; parking area refurbishing; cleanliness of business district

Economic restructuring: recruitment of businesses that enhance and improve the shopping, dining and cultural experience of the visitor

Next week I will be facilitating the promotions sub-committee planning meeting.  This will be an opportunity for those “in the trenches” (merchants, gallery owners and restaurant managers) to take the board plan a step further.  I’ll keep you updated on those plans!

So for your comment consideration:

What type of business will enhance your experience as a visitor on Main Street in Waynesville?   Do you find historic districts while you are visiting other areas?  What needs to be considered for improvement in events and festivals?

Until next time, if you need event information, check out the previous posts!

3 responses »

  1. It would be ducky to have a sign placed at the corner of Main St./Church (like the one placed on the opposite corner of Home Tech/Wine Seller) indicating that there is additional shopping, etc., on Wall Street. The Jasper Carrot and Wall Street Wines has eliminated the cigar smell situation in their individual businesses and are working diligently toward making it more bearable for customers using that as an access point.
    With The Strand in the midst of inspections for their improved site, and the potential that is to bring additional business to Wall Street, it would be beneficial to us as small businesses. I think that Pheasant Hill is opening its lower level to consigned spaces, too.
    Tourists/locals being guided to this ‘back area’ would be hugely helpful.
    It is more than just a cigar shop down here.
    TJC and WSW hugely promote other businesses and venues in the area. Reciprocating that effort would be grand. (Not to take overlook, at all, the other merchants downtown who do refer people to “the dungeon” – it is very much appreciated!)

  2. We’ve been weekend-visiting our weekend home in Waynesville for 18 months now. As a weekend getaway, we’re surprised at how many Waynesville shops are closed on weekends. I would imagine businesses would thrive if they normally stay open friday-sunday until 9pm or so. So many people would visit downtown, have dinner, and browse a few shops after dinner.

    Furthermore, we find it much more economical to have services done in Waynesville than in Charlotte. Now and then, we come up a day early or stay a day late so that we can have our cars worked on or whatever. I’m even considering what it would take to commit to having a dentist up here. (I’ve never heard of a dentist open on Saturdays.)

  3. Oh. We also recently saw the train from bryson city arrive at dillsboro. What a lovely place with all the shops and the train! I wonder what kind of development would occur if that train came up to Hazelwood. Heck, I think as many people might get on a train in Hazelwood to visit Bryson City as would get on in Bryson City to visit other towns.

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