Starkville to get first consumer interest study

By: 
Austin Montgomery
City Reporter

A survey to measure community interests in future stores and restaurants, analyzing spending patters and gain insight on consumer behavior is being conducted by Mississippi State University's National Strategic Planning and Analysis Center.

The survey and its data will be used to inform local, regional and state decision makers and economic development leaders on Starkville's prospects of attracting new growth and future businesses.

"The quality of life in Starkville and Oktibbeha County is a key component in recruiting the highest caliber students, faculty and staff to Mississippi State," said MSU President Mark Keenum. "New and improved retail shopping opportunities are important to existing members of our community as well as those we hope will join us in the future. This joint effort between the university and local government is an important step forward in maximizing those new community-building opportunities."

Started on March 28, the survey will gauge MSU students, faculty and staff.

Starkville residents and visitors will be surveyed through the Greater Starkville Development Partnership the week of April 18.

"We are so grateful to NSPARC and MSU for taking on this survey project," said GSDP CEO Jennifer Gregory. "We fully believe that the buying power of students and alumni groups, among others, catapult our traditional data and statistics to another level, but we've been unable to quantify it. This will put the Starkville community in an improved position to recruit retail and restaurants to the area, which we believe will enhance the quality of life of residents and visitors and positively impact our local economy."

After completing the survey, residents and visitors will be entered into drawings for a MSU or GSDP prize package.

The MSU prize includes a premium seating package to a top athletic event, a Yeti cooler and tailgating gear.

Visitors will be entered to win the "Starkville Weekend Getaway" that includes hotel accommodations, restaurant gift cars and tickets to one of the city's premier cultural events.

One lucky MSU student participant will choose from an Apple or Android smart watch.

Resident questions vary from the visitor survey, Gregory said.

"All data will be turned over to NSPARC on April 22," Gregory said.

NSPARC is a research unit at MSU that uses smart data, analytical techniques and advanced technology to develop innovative research-based solutions.

Those wishing to participate should send contact info—a phone number or email address—to GSDP at jgregory@starkville.org.

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