notes from steve cramer | november 30, 2019
With the first significant snowstorm under our belt, we are ready for whatever winter has to throw at us! The holiday season has begun, and it will be a great time to be around downtown.
Holidazzle: The event, which opened this past Friday, will be bigger and better than ever this season. Holidazzle is open every Thursday thru Sunday until December 22nd. For exact hours of operations, and information about the Holidazzle Fireworks presented by Xcel Energy, Holidazzle Movie Nights presented by Metro by T-Mobile, the popular Alpacas, the new 17-foot-tall Yeti, plus local food and shopping and a few surprises (like Most Epic Dog Day and our Yeti giveaway), visit http://www.holidazzle.com. Plus, we’ve got suggested itineraries so you can plan your Holidazzle experience by day or by group interests. See you at Loring Park!
Wells Fargo Mpls WinterSkate: Wells Fargo Mpls WinterSkate’s refrigerated rink and the Center Point Energy Warming House are also open in Loring Park, and will remain available for skaters into early March 2020. Thanks to Joe Ravens of Wells Fargo as well as the American Ice Theatre, DinoMights and Lake Hiawatha School (from the Mpls Park and Recreation Board hockey program) and the Figure Skating Club of Mpls for taking part in the Wells Fargo Mpls WinterSkate opening on Friday night. Stop down and enjoy free skating and lots of fun programming (complimentary skates available). Hours, operational and program details are available at http://www.mplsdowntown.com/winterskate/.
Public Safety: This continues to be an area of focus after a challenging summer. The successful results of pilot projects during the month of October, such as late night bar close shifts for DID Ambassadors and weekend hours from 1 to 8 am at the YouthLink Drop-in Center, will help inform strategies going forward. Look for a strong and early roll-out of a comprehensive safety plan in 2020 to set a positive tone early-on next year.
Redleaf Center for Family Healing: On Nov 13, I was very pleased to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Redleaf Center for Family Healing, being built by and on Hennepin Healthcare’s downtown mpls campus. The center will offer mental health and relationship support to moms and families, on-site childcare, a teaching kitchen and more. A wonderful asset for our downtown community!
100 Restroom Project: The availability of public restrooms is a long-standing issue identified by visitors and downtown stakeholders. In partnership with the City of Minneapolis, DID has launched a multi-faceted project to address this topic, involving wayfinding signage to available restrooms, three portable units to fill geographic gaps in availability, and a campaign to recruit private organizations to open their restrooms for more general use. More information is available at http://www.mplsdid.com/100restrooms.
Business Migration into Downtown: One of our November member events focused on the factors which have drawn some 120 new businesses into downtown Minneapolis over the last eight years, since publication of Intersections: The Downtown 2025 Plan. A new Job Growth Task Force conducted a survey of 20+ such businesses, and results were shared along with insights from leaders of companies that recently made this move. The goals of this work are to better understand the attraction factors, as well as the issues companies need to address with their employees to be successful in locating and thriving downtown.
I won’t be writing again until after the holidays, so I hope you and yours have a joyous season. Thanks for all you do to make downtown extraordinary!
president & ceo, mpls downtown council and Mpls Downtown Improvement District
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