Downtown Georgetown Reviews 2017, Celebrates a Prosperous Year
GEORGETOWN, KY – FEBRUARY, 2018 – With the guidance of Georgetown/Scott County Tourism, Downtown Georgetown prospered in 2017 as a shopping and dining mecca, community gathering spot, must-see visitor attraction, hub for history, and implementer of growth. Through additional advertising campaigns and marketing strategies, the downtown area of Georgetown fostered its own culture and has emerged as a very desirable destination for locals and visitors.
Downtown Georgetown, formally known as “Celebrate Georgetown,” became an official Georgetown/Scott County Tourism component in March 2016. Tourism has made it a mission since then to increase Downtown Georgetown awareness and encourage residents and tourists alike to patronize businesses.
Celebrate Georgetown hosts monthly meetings with downtown merchants to brainstorm possible events and improve past ones, announce advertising opportunities, and collaborate as one downtown community. Email blasts are frequently distributed to business owners containing tips and advice for improving small business, new or emerging business information, event updates, and reports on Celebrate Georgetown advertising efforts. Social media workshops were hosted in 2017 and attended by merchants interested in learning ways to improve their social media presence.
“We’ve been fortunate to have downtown businesses that are willing to work together to grow,” said Bailey Gilkerson, marketing director of Georgetown/Scott County Tourism. “Georgetown wouldn’t have a thriving downtown without our hardworking business owners. They are the ones who are in their shops, day in and day out. They care about downtown and they care about each other.”
In efforts to increase downtown Georgetown exposure, 53 Celebrate Georgetown ads went out to print publications in 2017. Local and regional advertisers included Georgetown News-Graphic, Lexington Herald Leader, Georgetown Magazine, Georgetown Town Money Saver, TravelHost, and the Georgetown/Scott County Chamber Map. Ads were also placed in publications outside of central Kentucky such as AAA World, Edible Louisville, Cincy Magazine, and Dayton Magazine. A downtown map listing business location information was designed and is now distributed at the Georgetown/Scott County Tourism office for tourist and local convenience.
Additionally, 151 Celebrate Georgetown radio commercials were featured on stations like Classic Rock 92.1, KISS 96.9, HANK 96.1, and 106.3 TODAY’S VARIETY. Multiple downtown events and shopping-specific TV commercials appeared 120 times on Lex18, WKYT, ABC36, and FOX56.
Seven travel writers explored downtown Georgetown, researching topics from small-town shopping and family-friendly trips to Kentucky bourbon tastings and culinary trails. Six press releases highlighting events, businesses, and accolades of downtown were also circulated.
“Tourism sees our Downtown as a critical piece to the bigger travel destination picture and that’s why we work so hard to tell others about it,” said Lori Saunders, executive director of Georgetown/Scott County Tourism. “With over 200 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, Downtown Georgetown holds true to its original roots. We’ve noticed more and more visitors interested in shopping, dining, and sightseeing our downtown, and locals too!”
In tandem with event and marketing planning and promotion, Tourism has made beautifying downtown its mission to further entice visitors and locals to experience and enjoy. Beautification projects include the design and installation of new Gtown flags, planting flower arrangements in the spring and maintaining them, and decorating downtown for the holidays.
Twenty-six events were hosted in downtown Georgetown consisting of shopping events like Love Your Downtown, Gtown After Hours, and Small Business Saturday, and community-centered events such as Party on the Square, Seed to Feed, and Home for the Holidays. There were also multi-day events held in Georgetown bringing activity and life to downtown, the biggest ones being the Kentucky Three-Day Event and Horsey Hundred. Out of these 26 events, the longest standing and local favorite, the Festival of the Horse, had its most successful year yet.
Downtown Georgetown connects locally with its Celebrate Georgetown Facebook page with over 3,000 followers in the Georgetown/Scott County area where events, activities, sales and promotions from downtown shops, and other important local Georgetown news are communicated.
Just as expected for Georgetown and Scott County as a whole, the downtown projects growth in 2018. Last year, Bourbon 30 Spirits and Sweet and Sassy Ashley’s were added to the list of downtown operations. Businesses like microbrewery and pizzeria, My Old Kentucky Foam, plan to open downtown in Spring 2018.
“Georgetown/Scott County Tourism will continue to do its part in promoting downtown as its own unique destination within Georgetown and cultivating an enjoyable experience that locals can be proud,” said Saunders.