From placing 20 “SculptCycles” downtown to renovating City Hall Plaza to working with merchants to boost business downtown, 2008 was a busy year for the Montpelier Alive.
Here are some highlights of our successes in 2008:
- SculptCycle highlighted the arts and bicycling in Montpelier. Among area residents and tourists, SculptCycle created a sense that Montpelier was a special town. People lingered longer on visits to town in order to find all the sculptures. Most downtown retail and restaurant businesses reported increases in sales last summer over the previous year. Business owners attribute this in part to the increased foot traffic downtown that SculptCycle generated.
- Montpelier Alive was able to double our impact on Green Up Day by separating recycling from trash and working with local businesses to increase the number of volunteers
- Over the important holiday shopping season, Montpelier Alive promoted downtown Montpelier by organizing coop advertising campaigns, running free horse-drawn wagon rides, creating “The Great Montpelier Window Give-Away” contest, and organizing a free family movie. This year we put special emphasis on Black Friday. As a result, most business reported one of the best, if not the best, Black Friday sales ever.
- There was a net gain in retail businesses last year with six new businesses, three expanded businesses, and three businesses in more prominent locations.
- Updated the Montpelier Visitors Guide and Map.
- First Night added skiing and swimming as activities for button holders before the first performances began at 3pm.
- As a measure of the success of the Independence Day festivities in bringing people downtown, there was a 17% increase in vendors signed up to sell their goods in front of the State House. Between 15,000-20,000 people attend the festivities each year.
- The Montpelier Alive Design Committee, anticipating that the crab apple trees in City Hall Plaza were nearing the end of their life, developed a plan to maintain one of the few downtown parks. Re-landscaping of the plaza began fewer than two months after one of the trees fell over in a storm.
- Montpelier Alive maintained an attractive look to the downtown by planting summer flower barrels, putting up winter lights and garlands, and changing the banners in front of City Hall plaza.
2008 was not the only successful year for us. Since our founding 10 years ago, Montpelier Alive has:
The Montpelier Alive has worked to make Montpelier a great place to live by:
- Coordinate Montpelier’s First Night and Independence Day festivals and the Brown Bag lunchtime concert series.
- Funding and installing 23 benches in downtown.
- Coordinating annual Green Up Day activities including painting, sweeping and planting projects that clean and beautify downtown streets, parks and parking lots.
- Purchasing and maintaining 52 flower planters in the downtown.
- Coordinating a competition to create of unique and artful street banners.
- Coordinating the annual Independence Day bunting displays on downtown buildings.
- Establishing a Community Advisor Board to review Montpelier Alive projects and priorities.
The Montpelier Alive has secured grant funding to support major improvements in downtown including:
- $175,000 for the installation of sprinklers systems in downtown properties.
- $50,000 in grants for trees, sidewalks and amenities in front of the post office.
- $69,000 for design and construction of two pocket parks in downtown Montpelier.
- $75,000 for sidewalk replacement, installation of street lights and pedestrian enhancements on State Street.
- $90,000 in income tax credits to address safety issues in downtown properties.
- $20,000 to improve parking in the North Branch parking lot.
- $2,500 for streetscape Artist Banners.
- A community development block grant to study the feasibility of redeveloping the historic Dickey Block.
The Montpelier Alive has worked to support downtown retailers and business owners by:
- Qualifying Montpelier as a “Designated Downtown” in order to provide businesses and property owners with special state funding programs, tax credits, incentives and services.
- Establishing the “Capital City Cash” gift certificate program which encourages shopping at the 64 participating merchants, restaurants and service providers.
- Working to create expanded downtown parking to accommodate shoppers and downtown employees.
- Organizing cooperative advertising and holiday activities to promote Montpelier as a destination for shopping.
- Developing a merchant assistance program to help support and retain downtown merchants.
- Hosting several market, tourism and parking studies.
- Having Montpelier Alive representation on City committees to participate in city policymaking.
- Working to enhance the “Creative Economy”.
- Maintaining Downtown Designation by the Vermont Downtown Board.
- Receiving recognition by the White House as a “Preserve America Community”.
Join Montpelier’s Presidential Challenge to Walk or Roll 802 hours in the month of May 2013. Presidentschallenge.org
5/25- Family Bike Clinic and Ride, Montpelier High School 9am- Helmet fitting, safety instruction and practice in parking lot followed by an optional ride to 3-mile bridge & return on the Route 2 shoulder. Families with school-aged kids welcome.
5/27 – 5/31- On-Bike Safety Trainings for all Union Elementary School students in grades 4 and 5.
5/9 through 5/31: Walking Scavenger Hunt- Walk to 5 locations on the periphery of town and get punches on your Quest Card. Cards can be picked up a the five hunt destinations as of May 8th. Locations are Birchgrove Baking, Hunger Mt. Coop, Hubbard Park tower, North Branch Nature Center, and the VT State Info Center. Return punch cards to City Hall via mail or drop-off to be eligible for prizes!
5/21-Promotions- 11:00 am-12:00pm
6/5- MBA- 8:30 am- 9:30am
6/10- Design- 5:15pm- 6:15pm
6/13- Board- 5:30pm- 7:00pm
What else is happening? Find out HERE!
Contact us anytime:
39 Main Street
Montpelier, Vt 05602