02Pub Pen csddI’ve always contended that any successful community needs a healthy and vibrant downtown. Our community is no different.

I recently had the pleasure of reading a newsletter and holiday update from the Cool Spring Downtown District president and CEO, Mark Regensburger. The CSDD organization is poised to market and promote the arts, entertainment and cultural events in downtown Fayetteville. His report was an incredibly detailed, comprehensive and uplifting account of the activities and development progress downtown. It included construction updates, current activities and events, new business acknowledgments, progress reports dealing with concerns, and neighborhood issues.

It also included helpful information about city and county government services and offices, hours of operation and a comprehensive list of activities for young and old alike.

This newsletter had substance. It was written professionally and articulately with a tone of hospitality and sophistication any reader would find inviting. It was exactly the kind of message and image of Fayetteville that community advocates would like to duplicate and disseminate throughout Fort Bragg and Cumberland County. It was so refreshing to read such an upbeat account of what’s going on in the downtown community.

I couldn’t help but think how handicapped so many organizations that work to improve the community and highlight its positives are in communicating this message to residents, visitors and guests throughout Cumberland County. This is valuable information that needs to be shared and broadcast to all the people in Cumberland County. Unfortunately, even though the intentions are to communicate outwardly to the residents of the county, the message remains quite obscure. The story of Fayetteville is just not getting out. Hopefully, Mark and CSDD will address this in the near future. They need to get their message out.

As informative as Regensburger’s newsletter was, I had to take exception to its title, which exposed the problem: “Holiday Newsletter From Our Family to ... Our family.” Our family. It’s an ironic title because CSDD needs to also share this information with people outside the downtown community and not just with “their family.”

Sure, it’s important that downtown residents stay informed, but if they don’t tell their story to others, then establishing downtown Fayetteville as a destination will be like winking in the dark. CSDD needs to aggressively promote, market and advertise the amenities downtown Fayetteville offers if they are to develop and brand themselves.

Yes, CSDD is on the right track, and I think they have the right leadership in place to make a difference in how Fayetteville is perceived. They can count on us for support.

Happy New Year, everyone. We are looking forward to and are excited about 2018. Thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly.

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