Downtown Wilmington looking for community input on future look - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Downtown Wilmington looking for community input on future look

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A group that works to improve the downtown area has a new program aimed at making it a more attractive place. A group that works to improve the downtown area has a new program aimed at making it a more attractive place.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Downtown Wilmington could be much different in the next five years, and you can help make those changes.

A group that works to improve the downtown area has a new program aimed at making it a more attractive place. While some are excited about the possibilities, others are resistant to change.

Wilmington Downtown Incorporated (WDI) is launching a work program to brainstorm ideas to make downtown more marketable. Some of the ideas include more art space, more green space, and even a discount card to link businesses together.

WDI President and CEO, Ed Wolverton said it's all about creating a better environment for visitors.

"If we had something more universally accepted by any downtown business then that opens up the ability for downtown to attract those kinds of shoppers or gift givers to make our downtown shops more competitive," Wolverton said.

The idea is drawing concern from at least one business owner. Hunter Ford of Momentum Surf and Skate Shop said he's in favor of anything that attracts more people to the downtown area; however, he's not fully on board with the idea of a discount card.

"The only drawback is when you offer discounts then people always expect to have a discount," Ford said.

While it's great to offer lower prices, Ford says it can have a negative effect on his business in the long run.

"When you constantly offer discounts, it discounts what you're doing," said Ford.

It's not a done deal yet. In fact, the whole thing is still just an idea at this point.

Wolverton said it's important that everyone's voice is heard, especially the business owners, before any changes are made.

"We want to make sure that we're doing programs that are important to all the people who touch downtown for business or for pleasure," said Wolverton.

After all the ideas are organized, WDI will then request a vote from residents on the brainstormed projects. The votes will identify the most important projects. The next step after that is for the WDI Board of Directors to review the results and develop a multi-year plan to make it a reality.

The public can still submit ideas to WDI until Friday, April 4. For more information, visit: http://bit.ly/1gXFyEz

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