Owen Sound’s downtown is a vital economic component of the city, both for its residents, the surrounding community and visitors. To create a strong core, the City of Owen Sound and the Owen Sound Downtown Improvement Area (OSDIA) partnered to focus on growth and revitalization initiatives with the goal of increasing visitors, providing economic opportunities, strengthening the core area and shifting the perception of the downtown. BC Hughes was hired to undertake the three-year strategic Action Plan.
The project involved several stages of stakeholder engagement which consulted city residents, business owners, key stakeholders, city staff and Downtown Improvement Area board members. The input from these groups was used to formulate the action plan which included recommendations related to management and experience development as well as promotion and branding.
The project recognized that the region needed more than a simple marketing and branding plan, and that investment in upgrades, management and experience development would ensure a quality experience which would go a long way to ensuring that visitors are happy when they arrive. Owen Sound now has a plan to guide the next 3 years of investment in their downtown, designed to capture its potential and to position the city for future growth and vitality.