January 2024 Downtown Meet Up Minutes

January 16, 2024
Downtown Development Division
Telia Butler - 270-393-4617
Bowling Green, KY
January 2024 Downtown Meet Up Minutes

The January Downtown Meet Up was hosted by The Healing Spirit at 300 College Street on Wednesday, January 10, 2024. These are the Minutes of that meeting.

1.  Missy and Guy Craig, owners of The Healing Spirit tea shop at 300 College St, welcomed the group to their new store. They sell teas of all kinds, vitamins and supplements, oxygenated water, offer classes in tea brewing, yoga, and pilates; their space can also host meetings and special events. 


  1. WKU Homecoming survey recap with WKU Alumni staff Zach Marcum and Anthony McAdoo. The staff offered a survey to all Downtown businesses that participated in activities in November and shared results—overall results were positive and Downtown businesses want WKU to continue bringing homecoming activities Downtown. Common themes – the music was too loud/volume or bass needs adjusting; consider alternate location on State St side of the Square for the stage to utilize more of the area’s space; the event was later in the year and colder and expect that moving forward b/c Conference USA schedule; some businesses didn’t do as well as others given the new parade route, weather could also be attributed; businesses could set up on the street or sidewalk that’s closed as well; check DJ set list and approve the songs. Takeaways – the end goal for Homecoming weekend is to provide activities Alumni can attend Thursday thru Sunday. WKU Alumni to consider moving the Friday Junior Achievement Chili n Cheese lunch to a Downtown venue if logistics work.


  1.  Light Up BGKY and Downtown Lights Up recap – 18 events ended up being part of this community-wide promotion; at least 10,000 people attended a Light Up BGKY event and the website got more than 3,000 unique viewers without any paid campaigns; mark your calendar for the week between Black Friday and the Christmas parade for the return in 2024; at least 6,000 people attended Downtown BGKY Lights Up; businesses asked Santa to return to Fountain Square, consider adding elves to Santa’s Village Circus Square; consider how to grow the workshop, the village was a huge success


  1.  Southern Queen and Moses properties – City has evaluated the property restoration proposals received with a committee built of public and private members; expect news on that at January 16's Board of Commission meeting – the old historically significant hotel building in Shake Rag district must be restored and cannot be torn down


  1.  TIF Board – Parking Structure projecting signage update – Telia is gathering quotes for Free Parking and Dining projecting signs to be posted on the 7th, College, and 8th street sides of the parking structure for improved wayfinding; this was priority 1 based on the traffic survey last June


  1.  Sweetheart Challenge update – free event hosted with BG Parks & Rec – Friday, Feb 8, 5-8pm and Saturday, Feb 9, 11am-2pm; encourage Fountain Row bars and restaurants to host a themed bar crawl with Valentine drinks for the Friday or weekend and promote like the Ugly Sweater crawl; adding Downtown locations to the scavenger hunt and Parks is looking for a few more businesses to be included in the stops and programmed together: Meltdown Ice Cream and Morris Jewelry were present at the meeting and offered to be part of it


  1.  Fountain Row decorative posts quotes in progress – to replace the boundary and info signs that are sitting on the aluminum posts


  1.  Public Parking signage for all Downtown public lots in design phase to be launched by summer – working with Public Works, County, BGMU, and TIF Authority to get consistent signage posted at public parking lot entrances throughout all of the Downtown area


  1.  GM’s Downtown Grant opportunity; waiting on reward results for public art placemaking – General Motors awards $50,000 to 5 cities each year, for placemaking in a Downtown space – to qualify for funding, a city must be located in a county that has a General Motors plant; we will find out if we are awarded the grant this month; if we don’t get awarded this year, we can continue trying annually


  1.  Fountain Row night at BG Hot Rods – May 30; this is a chance to partner with the BG Hot Rods marketing team and provide a new type of exposure to Downtown businesses; for $1,500 paid by the City, 100 game tickets will be made available for Downtown businesses on first come first serve basis, with free spaces for tables on the concourse to promote their individual business and provide giveaways; in-game trivia and games between innings will be offered to Downtown business attendees; Telia and Ashlee Wilson at Hot Rods to finalize more details


  1. Private pay to park lot scams update – there are a couple known scams that have been reported to BGPD regarding the ParkMobile lots:


1 - a fake QR code sticker has been applied to at least 1 Park Mobile lot sign, directing scans to a different parking company membership and seeking payment that's more than 10x the Park Mobile fee (in the lot behind the Ackermann building with the Center St entrance)


2 - a legitimate Park Mobile QR code has been manipulated and allowed for collection of credit card data that was breached and led to $1,000+ in fraudulent charges (in the lot next to Tidball's)


All our Downtown Park Mobile lot owners have been notified. They are considering removing the QR codes from their signs and only using a phone number to call to pay or text to receive a direct pay link. There are at least 2 police reports with these details. Police told me that this is something they've heard happening around the country with some pay to park lots using QR codes.


  1. Save the Date: Thursday, February 1 – Duncan Hines Days Open House at the Chamber of Commerce main office, free, 3-4:30pm, light food and drink provided; meet and greet with Duncan Hines Days committee and learn about what you missed in 2023 and what’s coming in 2024


  1. City IT is exploring improving a new way to play/stream music via park speakers at Fountain Square Park


  1. Downtown website updates needed with event calendar and new businesses – please submit any events you’re hosting throughout the year via bgkydowntown.org


  1. Riverfront Park Master Plan to be unveiled at the City Commission annual retreat at Sloan Convention Center on January 17; considering an additional standalone occasion to give more attention to this major development


  1. Events and venues to keep watching and important save the dates:

-The Capitol is hosting free movies, concerts, and Winterfest in February with free concerts on Friday nights

-SKyPAC is announcing new shows almost every week; they still host nonprofit meetings for free during business hours

-Duncan Hines Days – June 3-9

-Harvest Fest – October 19, 10am-6pm

-Light Up BGKY –December 2-8

-Downtown BGKY Lights Up – December 6, 5-8pm


The next Downtown Meet Up will be Wednesday, February 14, 3-4pm; with a location TBD. Minutes reported by Downtown Development Coordinator Telia Butler.

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