Central Business District Advisory Committee
January 5, 2017
Attendees: Councilman Ramon Hache, Chris Rutishauser, Bill Gilsenan, Jane Shinozuka, Lorraine Reynolds, Kathryn Schmidt, Gary Kolesaire
Absent: Michael, Velicu, Gail McCarthy, Philip Davis, Amy Borque, Chief Luthcke
Councilman Hache called meeting to order and the minutes of December 1, 2016 were accepted.
Discussion of longer-term goals for the CBDAC included:
Generating more robust foot traffic year round.
Selecting a few key initiatives we can implement such as supporting solutions to the parking issue, including building a parking garage.
Capitalizing even further on the winter holiday season, beyond the one day tree lighting. Winter Wonderland at Van Saun Park was cited as an example.
Generate ideas that others might turn into events. We are not interested in taking responsibility for creating events ourselves.
Possibly coming up with ideas to even further capitalize on our significant July 4th events and presence, perhaps making this more than just a one-day event.
Debriefed the holiday signage effort including the following lessons learned:
- Positive response from residents who received the email flyer.
- Gary indicated that some customers came to The Davidoff Lounge as a result.
- Businesses not included were annoyed or angry that they were not invited to participate.
- NEVER CLOSE THE STREETS!
- Businesses’ perceptions that the town does not do much to support them (parking was a theme).
- In a town with so many different opinions you can never please everyone.
CBD Website Update:
- Ramon held a meeting with the key implementers of the web-site including a RHS student volunteer who will design and code the site, Dylan Hansen, the Village's Chief Technology Officer, and Acting Village Manager Heather Mailander.
- The website subcommittee recommended three domain names: “downtownridgewood,” visitridgewood, and “itshappeninginridgewood.” After discussion the CBDAC concluded that they prefer .com to .org and chose “downtownridgewood.com.” Bill will look into costs.
- Kathryn distributed a website outline for all to review and provide comments.
PR for the Village
- Ramon has met with a PR firm who might be able to support our efforts and has reached out to resident, Dana Glazer, who may be able to create a video of Ridgewood that we could incorporate on the website.
- We discussed the opportunities that sites such as Yelp, Google, Trip Advisor, escapemaker.com, visitnj.com, etc. could provide and agreed to explore them further, including how to “join” the sites and how to incent end users to discuss their Ridgewood experience on those that depend on ratings and reviews. Ramon will pursue Google and Yelp. Kathryn will look into Trip Advisor, visitnj.com and escapemaker.
- We discussed looking into a social media strategy as well.
- Ramon updated the Committee on progress with the alternative footprint design which is being reviewed with two design firms.
The meeting was adjourned.
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