New Castle News

January 17, 2014

New Visions seeks help with Destination Downtown

Nancy Lowry
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — New Visions for Lawrence County sees downtown New Castle as the place to be.

This week, the volunteer organization asked others to join efforts to make Destination Downtown a priority and develop a marketing strategy to draw people downtown.

More than 50 residents, merchants, business people and community members attended a session to hear ideas designed to draw more people to the downtown. The session met at The Confluence, a new downtown business. The next meeting is planned for 6 p.m. Feb. 6.

Larry Corvi, the organization’s executive director, said the mission of New Visions is to establish Lawrence County as a desirable place to live. To do this, he said, the community must envision a vibrant downtown. In his vision, Corvi said, new development would center around Neshannock Creek and Riverwalk Park.

Projects under consideration by New Visions include an Earth Day event downtown April 26, combining the Arts and Fireworks festivals in the downtown, expanding summer concerts and development of a dog park, splash pad and ice rink.

“Our goal is to create New Castle as a destination location,” he said.

New Visions board members Robin Session-Cain and Carrie Goff spoke of earlier New Visions meetings, how the Destination Downtown theme was developed and a survey of local merchants.

“We don’t have all the answers,” New Visions board member Angie Mohr said. “But we have committed, passionate volunteers who want to see our downtown get better.”

Meetings such as the one this week, she said, are intended to create a buzz within the community to get others interested and thinking about what is desired, what is possible.”

A film, “20 Ingredients of an Outstanding Downtown,” also was presented.

The film featured Roger Brooks, an international expert in tourism, downtown development and destination marketing. He presented a look at successful North American cities, what steps they had taken to attract visitors and provided ideas for establishing a starting point to create the small cities featured as a “destination” place to work, live and visit.