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By STEVEN NALLEY
The Starkville Convention and Visitors Bureau plans to discuss upcoming marketing campaigns in its 11:30 a.m. Wednesday meeting at the Greater Starkville Development Partnership office.
Jennifer Gregory, vice president for tourism development with GSDP, said she will also briefly discuss the status of the steering committee for the city of Starkvilleâ€™s redevelopment authority. She said she also hopes to have a final report on the CVBâ€™s Twitter Town Hall to distribute to elected officials and the media at the meeting.
Gregory said she will review plans for the CVBâ€™s summer event promotion campaign, the Dog Days of Summer. She said this yearâ€™s Dog Days of Summer will include the 175th anniversary of Starkvilleâ€™s chartering and related celebrations.
Gregoryâ€™s report will bring the CVBâ€™s seasonal advertising campaigns full circle after the CVB introduced Dog Days of Summer in summer 2011, followed by the fall New South Weekends campaign in fall and winter 2011 and Savor Our South in Spring 2012. Gregory said these seasonal campaigns and their names will remain in place for the foreseeable future.
â€śOur branding campaign has been quite successful,â€ť Gregory said. â€śIn order to brand the three campaigns, we plan to keep consistent the names and branding images at least for a couple of years, if not more.â€ť
Both Gregory and CVB chair Jeremiah Dumas are members of the Starkville redevelopment authority steering committee. Dumas said the steering committee has only met once, so discussion will be brief. State law allows cities to establish redevelopment authorities which closely examine redevelopment needs in certain areas of those cities, and Dumas said one of the steering committeeâ€™s primary tasks is naming members of the redevelopment authority.
â€śThose are still developing programs,â€ť Dumas said. â€śThereâ€™s a second meeting next week.â€ť
Gregory said if the finalized report on the Twitter town hall is not ready in time for the CVB meeting, it should be ready some time this week. The Twitter town hall was an opportunity for citizens, students and others connected to Starkville to give the CVB feedback on Starkvilleâ€™s economic development.
â€śPrimarily, we identified that many people have the desire to shop locally, but many express an interest in more affordable prices and a greater variety,â€ť Gregory said. â€śSo, we will review that suggestion. Additionally, several noted the need for an upscale grocery store in Starkville. That is something that we are working on currently with our consultant, Tripp Muldrow with Arnett Muldrow and Associates.â€ť