Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Why can't Cincinnati be a "distinctive destination?"


Each year , the National Trust for Historic Preservation has selects 12 vacation destinations across the US that offer an authentic visitor experience by combining dynamic downtowns, cultural diversity, attractive architecture, cultural landscapes and a strong commitment to historic preservation and revitalization.

Why not Cincinnati? It has the architecture, it already has some attractions? So how do we get there? Cincinnati's strongest suit is its wealth of Architecture. Few midwestern cities have the scale of historic buildings near the downtown area. It has key attractions Fountain Square, Findlay Market and Dayton Street Historic yet the city has not developed a plan to create corridors to get from A to B to C. Part of the sucess of historic and cultural tourism in other cities, is that those visiting need to feel safe. No I should point out that Ive been to New Orleans and I was well aware of where I was at, what areas were safe and not so safe, but causal "historic toursists" may not know this. The city needs to create corridors of redvelopment off say, Central Parkway to these areas.
It also needs to push the streetcar, It needs to start attracting "Historic tourism " businesses like carriages, horsecart tours and bike rentals. The areas around Fountain Square, Findlay and Dayton Street Historic need comprehensive plans to attract a good mix of businesses to the areas around them like galleries, antique dealers and restaurants. Fountain square has been more sucessful at this , its time for Findlay and Dayton St to do the same. The city must be prepared to argue that bringing in toursim actually helps the economy by providing entry level jobs, as the "save the poor" crowd will yell gentrification. It can happen that Cincinnati could be a Charleston SC. It will just take some planning and hard work.

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