DOWNTOWN PLAN UPDATE
Downtown 2.0 – Montgomery’s new block-by-block plan for downtown - is well underway. Over the last several months, the consulting team has been hard at work collecting and analyzing data, while also having conversations and gaining perspectives from those who are heavily vested in downtown development. The new plan is on track and should be released sometime in May.
In conjunction with the plan, the Chamber, the City and the County hosted several public engagement events during early February to gain feedback from the community on the experiences, activities and engagement opportunities that they would like to see in downtown. More than 200 people participated and provided key insight.
CHAMBER HOSTS SEVERAL SIGNATURE EVENTS
In March, the Chamber hosted Governor Kay Ivey for the Annual Alabama Update at the RSA Activity Center. Governor Ivey provided an update on the 2022 budget and legislative session, the new concealed carry bill, infrastructure with regard to Alabama’s roads and bridges, and she also discussed military quality of life, education and workforce opportunities.
In addition, the Chamber hosted both Congressman Mike Rogers and Senator Tommy Tuberville for a Washington Brief and Site Tour, where they provided an update regarding ongoing congressional activity, an outlook for the year and key updates surrounding key federal priorities that impact our region.
The Chamber also hosted Congresswoman Terri Sewell on an infrastructure site visit at the Montgomery Regional Airport, where she held a press conference to discuss the new Infrastructure Bill.
“THE JOURNEY STARTS HERE” IMPLEMENTS PHASE 2
The Journey Starts Here Campaign, a ramp-up of the city’s tourism marketing activity and efforts to enhance visitor experiences, is designed to increase lodgings tax revenue and boost the post-pandemic economy by connecting to the high demand for meaningful travel experiences. It highlights Montgomery’s landmarks and history through visual and digital wayfinding and customer service.
It has now entered its second phase, which includes the installation of 25 street pole banners and QR codes throughout downtown that give visitors more details on important sites; the re-release of a Civil Rights Audio Tour as a podcast streaming on all streaming platforms, plus a new Experience MGM podcast; and the implementation of a new Downtown Walking Trail as well as a 360-degree tour from One Court Square. The 360-degree tour, available every day the new Visitor Center is open, offers a wayfinding tour that circles the Court Square fountain and outlines all you can do, see, eat and shop throughout downtown.
EXPERIENCE MONTGOMERY LAUNCHES NEW DE&I PROGRAM WITH BIG TEN
The Big Ten has created a new collection of events for athletes at its 14 member higher-education institutions called the Big Life Series, and the inaugural event brings participants to Montgomery in July for the Big Life Series: Selma to Montgomery.
Designed to immerse student athletes in “transformational education experiences,” the events aim to arm participants with the “why” and the “how” when it come to making an impact, both while they’re in school and when they enter the next phase of their lives.
The Selma to Montgomery event will expose the student-athletes to key sites of the Civil Rights movement in both cities and teach them about the major role students played in the movement. The trip also includes a visit to EJI’s Legacy Museum and the Memorial.
“The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to partner with the Big Ten to create our first curated DEI experience,” said Hospitality & Tourism Consultant Ashley Jernigan. “The modern-day civil rights journey started right here in Montgomery and student involvement was just as significant then as it is now. We are honored that the Big Ten has taken the initiative to not only educate and empower its students to learn about our city’s role in America’s history, but to also see how they can take action right now as college students.”
MAKING BIG MEDIA IMPRESSIONS
The Chamber’s aggressive earned media and PR strategy continues to yield national and international placements and so far, this year has reached more than 44 million people via these articles and outlets:
- 12 Travel Destinations to Celebrate Black History Month in 2022 – Travel Pulse
- Travel Destinations Where You Can Learn More About Black History – HUFFPOST
- Dr. Valda Montgomery Talks About Harris House, A Safe Haven for Activists During the Civil Rights Movement – Travel Noire
- On the Alabama Civil Rights Trail – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution