From the Desk of the Main Street Program Director
What was your favorite Main Street project or event?
by Rae Gosling, Grayling Main Street Program Director
November marks the end of Michigan Main Street’s fiscal year. That means it is time for me to start compiling data for the annual reports. While most of these numbers and narratives are captured from month to month in meeting minutes and monthly reporting, there is always reminder for the director to offer up any follow up to stories that were started earlier in the “year.” As many of you probably suspect, that is my favorite part. While I have a strong affection for the hard data points associated with our economic development, the preservation of our history and the authenticity of our community is really what gets me excited.
As much as I would love to tell you a million more delightful stories, like last week, I will refrain. I bring this topic up, because I want to hear from you. I want to know what your favorite downtown transformation was from the last year. The impact we make on our community, through programming (events and projects), does not look the same to everyone. What I see, what the Board members and volunteers see, and what residents and visitors see, are all different, and shaded by different things. I want to provide follow up to events and projects from the year, with real feedback from the wide variety of folks that experienced them.
This is your formal invitation to send me an email, write me a letter, or just give me a call, and tell me how one of our projects has impacted you in 2017. I would prefer it to be an event or project specifically hosted by Grayling Main Street (GMSt), but I will hear you out on any project we are associated with, or perceived to be associated with. I look forward to hearing from you!
In other news, I have been busy meeting with property owners regarding opportunities for development. These projects include new housing units, as well as retail and commercial spaces being reactivated. With several potential projects being considered and in the works, our downtown is being faced with a wonderful, and challenging, dilemma.
Fortunately, the next quarterly training, in just a couple weeks, will offer a session on this particular challenge. We have already engaged with some state allies to discuss options, and begun researching what has been done in other communities to address the concern of residential parking and increasing consumer traffic. In the coming weeks, I look forward to sharing what I learn at training, and how we could possibly apply the strategies to our growing downtown.
In the meantime, as the holiday shopping season ramps up, don’t forget about the large public lots located behind the businesses on the 100 and 200 blocks of Michigan Avenue. These lots are conveniently located near the wonderful shopping and dining options Downtown Grayling offers, and they are easy to access and depart from.
Want to know more about GMSt and what is going on in Downtown Grayling? Check back in future editions of the Avalanche for more From the Main Street Director’s Desk. You can also check out our website, www.DowntownGrayling.com, find us on Facebook, or email your questions to DowntownGrayling@gmail.com.
Rae Gosling is the Program Director for Grayling Main Street. She has been with GMSt since April 2016. She is a Grayling resident, wife, mother, local shopper, avid supporter of all things Grayling, and keeps everyone on their toes wondering what color her hair will be next.