To help businesses stay positive and thrive during a planned eight-month face lift on Main Street in Oshkosh, the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) and the BID Marketing Consortium developed an upbeat, comprehensive promotional campaign. Main Street construction has its own mascot, its own Facebook page, a business tool kit, a hidden golden shovel to be found during Sawdust Days, buttons, and plans for events and activities aimed at bringing and keeping people downtown.
The strategy resulted from talks with other cities that have eased the pain of downtown road construction and the advice of Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Vinton Construction officials, who have worked with other communities. The campaign mascot is Main Street Max, a hard-hatted pup the BID has adopted as its mascot. He'll also serve as a symbol business owners can use to direct patrons to public parking lots and other parts of downtown. Business owners can also tape up paw prints to help lead people to open cross streets, rear entrances and other access points during construction.
The Marketing Consortium is also taking a PowerPoint presentation to community groups, service clubs and anyone else who is interested to provide information about how to get around the area. In addition to the normal Live at Lunch, Waterfest and Farmer's Market events that will go on as usual this summer, The Shops at City Center plan to show movies, drive-in style, off Pearl Avenue, and there are plans for a "golden shovel" hunt based on clues the BID will periodically release.
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