About the FFDRC
July 4, 2018
Downtown Chow Down underway
The Downtown Chow Down event was created by the FFDRC to market our Downtown by attracting customers to Downtown restaurants and hopefully have a positive spillover effect to benefit the other Downtown retailers. It was hoped that we could incentivize people to dine at our downtown restaurants by offering coupons to random individuals including City residents, rural community members, summer visitors and residents of nearby communities. The coupons could be redeemed for part, or all, of a purchase at one of the Downtown restaurants and would be valid on Thursdays from 1:00 P.M. to restaurant closings. Through the support of H2M, Nelson Automotive, Service Food, the Blandin Foundation, Leighton Broadcasting and the FFDRC the marketing campaign was created. It was to span the 13 weeks of summer starting June 7th and running through August. We planned to utilize social media, radio broadcast, cold calling and various networking efforts to market the event and distribute the coupons.
In all, $5,250 in coupons will be distributed. One hundred ten-dollar coupons would be set aside to be distributed via social media for the month of June; note: all 100 coupons were claimed within the first 24 hours. More coupons will be available via social media for July and August on a first come first served basis; be sure to check our website (www.ffriver.org) early on the first day of July and August if you want a chance to get a coupon online. Additional coupons were provided to each of the participating restaurants as well as many local businesses, major employers, senior care facilities and so forth. Leighton Broadcasting’s KBRF and Z103.3 are using a call-in program to provide two – $25 coupons on Thursdays for each of the 13 weeks; coupons are also being hand distributed to many of the closer in resorts.
NeTia uses social media to announce the location and time for the current weeks Chow Down on Wednesday nights and then on Thursday, at the appointed time and restaurant, she coordinates a Facebook Live video broadcast. Each video is available to view on our website at www.ffriver.org. Check out the FFDRC website for Chow Down details and other FFDRC information. Here is the link to the June 13th Chow Down at Café 116; scroll to “Jotform” and click on the “play” icon – http://ffriver.org/downtown-chow-down/, check it out. Even though we are just getting underway we have now completed four Chow Downs and I have to say that I believe them to be very successful. Having a meal has never been more fun or interesting and several restauranteurs have reported an uptick in business.
I reported in the last member correspondence that the City Manager, Andrew Bremseth,
requested action from the City Council to begin looking into changing the Fergus Falls economic development model to something closer to the Bemidji model, which is a private 501 (c) (3) corporation. The City Council voted unanimously to support that recommendation. Further action by the Council will be discussed at the City Council meeting tonight so I will provide an update on that subject later this week.
At the FFDRC Board meeting:
The focus of the meeting was directed to the Downtown marketing campaign – the Downtown Chow Down.
Shop Move’n Groove
July 12th – 11:00 to 7:00 – sponsored by the Chamber – live music, food, shopping – for more information contact NeTia at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will put you in touch with the appropriate person. FFDRC will have a booth in the center of Lincoln Avenue in front of the Pemberton Law Building. Stop by and introduce yourself; if I don’t know you I would like an opportunity to meet you.
Holiday Tree / Art Crawl – December 1st – FFDRC is a sponsor and coordinates the planning committee; the event is being planned now. Our hope is to get 5,000 people downtown for the full day/evening event – Art Crawl, shopping, live entertainment, horse carriage rides, photos with Santa, caroling with seasonal music, holiday tree lighting, free hot apple cider or hot chocolate and “fireworks”. If you would like to help plan this or any event, please contact NeTia at email@example.com.
Have a fun July 4th holiday and don’t forget to enjoy some of the remaining Chow Downs. The City is not “dying”- it is changing as are most cities in America. There is no Board Meeting in July; the next Board meeting date – August 7 – 4:00 to 5:00 PM @ Dining Car#423/Cascade Street Station, anyone is welcome to attend.
If you have a comment, a concern or an idea of what we can do or do better please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 952-513-0158.
Steven L. Eriksson, President