Written by Arkansas Real Estate
This week we had the opportunity to chat with Kerry Jensen, Executive Director at Main Street Rogers. Many thanks to Kerry for taking time to kibitz with us about all the amazing things going on in Downtown Rogers.
Kerry, we hear Downtown Rogers has some exciting things in store this season - what can you share?
Well, there are many exciting things, but one of the most exciting is something we as an organization are rolling out in January, our new slogan/campaign for 2012:
Shop, Dine, & Explore
We have spent the past couple years working on how we wanted to identify our "downtown" in the community. We aren't a "typical" downtown. We are a historic district that offers amenities, shops, and attractions that are totally different than anything else in the nation. This past year we have been making sure that we make small improvements to things such as making sure all our sidewalks are stroller-friendly, revamped some of the intersections, preserving some of the original infrastructure of brick and mortar in the roads, and historic preservation through economic rebuilding.
We now feel we are ready to share our district in a much more deliberate way with the rest of this region and state.
What have you seen in terms of businesses opening in downtown this year?
We have a great business mix, with well over 93% of all buildings being occupied with a variety of unchained merchants. I often joke with members in the community, that if something were to happen and everything west of 8th Street (71B) was suddenly gone, we would still have a fully functional town in the downtown district. With twenty-five restaurants, a pharmacy, a grocery store, gas stations, clothing, hardware, etc. the list goes on and on. In 2010 alone, we had twenty-six new businesses open, and many more have opened already this year with eight more businesses on the drawing board to open before year's end.
We are a walkable area and we are very dense. One of the other benefits that I really enjoy is the fact that we are not a square. We are a lot bigger than a little downtown square. We are truly a historic district, which allows us to add much more unique and diverse businesses, attractions, and residence options.
What are some of the fun facts about Downtown Rogers that are worth spending some time exploring?
Well, there are several really great things that are worth spending days exploring. Let me first say, the thing we want to encourage most is that everything we do in Downtown Rogers is aimed at being family-friendly and many things are pet-friendly also. I would love to invite you to come and spend a day leisurely exploring with your family.
Some of the things you may not have known is that we in fact have three museums here in Downtown Rogers: Rogers Historic Museum, the Daisy BB Airgun Museum, and most secretive a Fireman's Museum (where kids can actually touch and take pictures with the fire truck - something that I do not know of any other museum to allow).
We also have approximately 125 events each year for the entire family from Twilight Walks, to the Goblin Parade, to Picnics in the Park, Car Shows, International Festivals, etc. We also have our annual Christmas Parade coming up December 5th that you will not want to miss!
Many thanks to Kerry for taking time to chat with us this week. We also want to congratulate him for receiving the honor of being selected to host "Destination Downtown" for 2012. This is a big honor as it is only hosted in Arkansas once every three years and members from "Downtown's" all over Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, and beyond will travel to Northwest Arkansas for an annual summit. Congrats, Kerry! Keep up the wonderful work!