We want a Downtown that is vibrant and active with people of all ages and walks of life living, dining, shopping, visiting art galleries & museums, attending live performances and events, and socializing with their friends and families. We want our streets to be alive with outdoor spaces filled with multiple generations and a culturally-diverse population connecting with one another.
We are working towards engaging the Town, its residents, businesses, civic groups, and the college in a positive spirit of continuous improvement of the Downtown District. We envision a pedestrian-friendly community that has become a destination because it has protected the historic character of both the commercial and residential areas, retained the same scale of buildings as now, with appropriate infill that has good food, good music, good art and good shops.
We are striving to help Ashland achieve an official “Virginia Main Street” designation, which is an initiative of National Trust for Historic Preservation. There are significant economic and cultural benefits to achieving the designation.
Providing public recognition through the “You’ve Been Noticed” program, which recognizes downtown businesses that renovate their buildings and/or significantly enhance their curb appeal.
Through these efforts, Main Street has developed strong relationships with its stakeholders that will allow it to accomplish even more going forward. In partnership with the Town and other private interests, we expect to play a role in the revitalization of the iconic Ashland Theater in the near future.
Tom Wulf served as Ashland Main Street Association's board president for 17 months prior to being hired as its first executive director. He has been a resident of Ashland for over 17 years, and served in executive-level positions with two Fortune 500 companies for 25 years prior to opening a video production company in Ashland. He currently serves on the board of Market Ashland Partnership and as vice-chair of Pamunkey Regional Library Board of Trustees. He has previously served on the Ashland Economic Development Authority and the Town's Parks and Recreation Committee. He has served as facilitator of Main Street's recent community roundtables, bringing various stakeholders of Ashland (businesses, residents, artists, and organizations) to discuss how to maximize Ashland's tourism and economic development appeal. He and the Town's Economic Development Coordinator, Alexis Thompson, were the primary authors of the 2013 Virginia Main Street Designation Application.
Challenge: Fundraising/Revenue-generating plan for Ashland Train Day. As the largest event hosted by Main Street, Train Day has enormous potential as a fundraising event. As 2012's Train Day was our first year hosting the event, we were more concerned about safety and logistics than fundraising. This year, in order to reach the next level of effectiveness, Main Street needs to generate significant revenue through the event.
How it’s being addressed: As noted previously, we believe Ashland can become a “destination location,” and a regional tourism draw for visitors traveling the I‐95 corridor. We plan to re-design the Ashland-Hanover Visitor’s Guide and enhance our web site with up-to-date information about our downtown. We are working with the Town of Ashland, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Virginia Main Street Program, and Richmond Region Tourism on development and distribution logistics for the new marketing brochure. We hope to utilize current regional and state tourism web sites to provide links to the Main Street site, for which we plan to enable interactive maps that provide details about our Arts and Culture District.
Future marketing projects include improvements to our way-finding signage, and a broader advertising reach through a variety of media.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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