It Could Be A Banner Year For The City Of Douglas With Tourism-Based Effort
Having discussed it now for years and having even started a fund to implement it and then terminated that effort, Douglas city leaders are now ready to upgrade and expand the city’s promotional and decorative banners.
At Monday’s city council meeting, city leaders approved spending up to $30,000 for the banner program for 280 banners at 70 locations (including west on Center Street to Lakeshore Drive).
Banners will include five seasonal changes, with patriotic banners representing a season.
The program is part of the continuing effort by city leaders and merchants to get more visitors to the area, to not overlook Douglas, its amenities, its businesses, its unique charm.
“We are trying to come up with ways to get more people downtown,” noted Douglas City Mayor Linda Anderson.
That effort also includes the conspicuous, but temporary large red arrow currently displayed with the Douglas city welcome sign at the corner of Center Street and and Blue Star Highway.
The Douglas Downtown Development Authority (DDA) worked on the red arrow project; merchants say it serves as a “stoppage measure” so as to attract visitors, noted Douglas City Council Member Patricia Lion, also city liaison and member of the Douglas DDA.
“We are in the process of securing a professional group to tell us what needs to be done there,” Lion shared with colleagues.
With regards to the banners, Douglas City Council members said they were pleased with the aesthetics that local graphic artist Ronna Alexander presented them with on Monday.
“I like the one that says, ‘There is more than just Saugatuck,’” noted Douglas City Council Member Aaron Miller.
Others concurred, including Anderson who said the text’s promotional message was very fitting for a location along Blue Star Highway targeting those motorists “racing down” that road without noticing Douglas.
Douglas City Council Member Lisa Greenwood described Alexander’s artwork as “timeless,” but she said she had a question about the one banner that reads, “Keep calm & eat cookies.”
Her colleagues pointed out that cookies were indeed served at downtown’s Kismet Bakery and Respite coffee shop.
Officials hope to start displaying the banners this winter season.
The city will be working with Kalamazoo Banner Works—the vendor offering the lowest bid—on the banner project.
A collaborate effort will include Mayor Anderson, artist Alexander, Douglas City Zoning Administrator Lisa Imus, and Douglas DPW Supervisor Matt Vogel.