Downtown Milford Incorporated (DMI ) and the Delaware Main Street Program hosted a Main Street Tourism Development seminar at Georgia House on Friday, February 4. There were over 60 people in attendance with individuals from across the state of Delaware and even as far away as Pennsylvania and Maryland. The conference was aimed at helping towns develop a plan for tourism development and hospitality.
Downtown Milford Incorporated has been working with Todd Barman from the National Trust for Historical Preservation and Diane Laird from the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) in an attempt to attract a regular stream of visitors to the community.
“Touristy has a bad connotation,” commented Mr. Barman “what we need to attract downtown is not only people from outside of town but those individuals from the town who have not visited the main street in some time. Give them reasons to come downtown.”
The presentation stressed the need to plant the seed for entrepreneurship and grow that spirit and culture. By doing so Milford can start to improve the business district and attract people downtown. The need for a proactive approach to attracting business is needed.
“I really see Milford becoming a destination in the following years,” commented DMI Board President Irv Ambrose.
DMI hopes that this presentation will help individuals understand the importance of bettering business relations, increasing foot traffic and creating brand awareness for downtown. The Travel Industry Association of America states the top activities for domestic travelers include dining, shopping and entertainment. Mr. Barman suggested that Milford should create a collective market that supports these activities for travelers.
As DMI pushes forward with plans to “promote quality development of the traditional central business district” they will continue to work closely with DEDO and the Delaware Main Street Program. Lorainne Dion, Executive Director of DMI, encourages community involvement and suggestions as they prepare for 2011. Lorainne and her staff can be reached at 302-839-1180.