Today, there are many options for people to spend their leisure time. Cities offer a broad range of entertainment options, and the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan puts the spotlight on existing amenities and looks to add more features that not only bring in millions of guests, but attract businesses and residents who want to be close to the action.
A vibrant, diverse and thriving downtown requires a strong arts community and a variety of entertainment options. The arts, along with other unique entertainment amenities and public events, draw crowds to our center city and have a multimillion-dollar economic impact on downtown every year. Studies show the arts are the third most important factor, behind the economy and schools, considered by businesses and employees in relocation discussions.
Creating new active lifestyle options also is important as people choose to live, work and play in places that support their desire for walking, biking and use of public transit. Downtown is the hub of the largest regional bikeway system in the country and, since the launch of the Plan, there now are an additional 42.5 miles of regional trails connected to downtown’s bikeways. Funding is secured for a bike share program, which will launch in 2015 and feature 22 stations and more than 200 bikes in greater downtown.
Dayton's access to high-quality waterways also make downtown a recreation destination. A vision of a 98-mile recreation and entertainment district along the Great Miami and Mad rivers is shared by 11 cities. Greater downtown has become the hub of this district and, by building on existing strengths, new and exciting activities that offer a variety of river experiences can be created. The fully funded $4 million RiverScape River Run project will open the downtown river to a cascade of additional opportunities, including a whitewater-style passage for paddle-sport enthusiasts.
Growing and strengthening these signature downtown amenities is important as we strive to increase that impact. A critical component to this mix is public spaces programming and an effort needs to be made to address the attraction and retention of key events in the Greater Downtown. Key objectives of the Plan moving forward include continuing to position the greater downtown as the premier destination for the region and increasing the depth and breadth of programming options in public spaces.
Plan goals include:
- Develop a broad-based event and public space programming strategy by 2016 that provides solutions to current challenges and identifies long-term funding sustainability.
- Increase participation in Courthouse Square programming events by 10%.
- Develop an action-orientated, collaborative cross-promotion and PR plan on an annual basis.
- Identify capital and operating funding plans for three priority projects identified in the Greater Downtown Dayton Riverfront Master Plan.
- Double cycling mode share compared to 2014 levels in the Greater Downtown.
- Increase the number of people renting canoes and kayaks for the downtown river by five times over 2012 levels.
Learn more at downtowndayton.org/plan