Walking Up Mainstreet
Downtown Rhinelander Inc. will be starting its ninth year in 2015. After any organization or business has been around for years we think that everyone knows what we do, but we realize that this is not true. So keeping this in mind I thought I’d share the details of DRI.
Probably the most notable items that we do are the events. DRI invites thousands of people into the downtown every year by hosting eleven events: Taste of Chocolate, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Volunteer Appreciation, Second Saturday in June Car Show, 4th of July Parade, Redikulus Dae, PotatoFest, Downtown Trick or Treat, Pumpkin Glow, Hodag Howl and the Holiday Open House Weekend.
DRI works on the beautification of our downtown. We purchased the containers and supply the garbage bags for the waste containers, and did you know that volunteer businesses and the City takes care of these? Every year there are over 100 flower baskets adorning our city. We also maintain the Plaza, the park area on the corner of Brown and Rives Street AND the Triangle, the area located at Brown and Anderson Street. We are responsible for the Hodag statues that are located not only Downtown but now throughout the area and it is one of our favorite projects.
We are an advocate for the Downtown. We promote our businesses with a Downtown Business Directory and by advertising with the newspapers, special publications and other organization’s pieces for print. We utilize the many radio stations, and we have two websites (downtownrhinelander.com and rhinelanderstreetscape.com) and three facebook pages (Downtown Rhinelander, I Buy Local and PotatoFest). Downtown Rhinelander is involved with the city, other organizations and businesses through Board representation, membership and collaborating on projects.
Thanks to our partnership with the City of Rhinelander and a private foundation- with each group investing, our parking lots are plowed and maintained and there is a low interest loan program available for the Downtown Businesses.
Because we are a Main Street city we have access to information, statistics, even façade renderings to help our businesses. DRI offers an “Open House for Available Properties” to showcase what is available for sale or rent and then we place that information on the website and utilize it throughout the year to help perspective businesses become part of our downtown. In 2013-2014 we gained eleven new businesses and only said goodbye to five. Another benefit we offer our business owners is the Business Advisory Group. A group of individuals will meet with the business owner and once an area or need is determined- help from professionals in areas such as accounting, finance, marketing etc. can work with them to devise a plan to suit their needs.
Our office handles inquiries and questions and is the hub for people to learn about what a true gem we have in our community, our downtown. We are fortunate to have a strong and caring community. So much of what we do could not be accomplished without community support, whether it is your time or your financial help, we thank you.
Maggie Steffen is available at 715-362-7374 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.