PARKERSBURG - Downtown PKB sent out 3,000 surveys to businesses and community members Wednesday to gauge opinions on the future of downtown Parkersburg.
The surveys will help guide Downtown PKB's efforts to reinvigorate the area of the city, said Downtown PKB Executive Director Carrie Nesselrode.
"We have spent the past year focusing on the immediate opportunities we have to show off downtown Parkersburg while digging in to understand some of the issues that have prevented the growth and revitalization everyone would like to see in this area," she said. "Now, we want to learn through a more formal survey process what the community and those people who work and own businesses downtown think about the area."
Surveys are being sent to all downtown businesses via email, while a door-to-door approach will be taken to target some of the smaller businesses as well. Community members will be given access to the survey through a variety of methods including the Downtown PKB website, social media and even via a paper form that can be picked up at the organization's office at 409 1/2 Market St.
"We want to engage as many people as possible, through as many means as we can so that we can put into motion plans that truly reflect the wishes, hopes and desires of everyone interested in seeing our downtown grow," Nesselrode said.
The survey features a range of questions to determine usage of the downtown, where respondents live, what they want to see out of the downtown of the future and interest in downtown living. Survey-takers also will be asked to note what would drive them to use the downtown more often and what ideas they have for improvements.
"This is everyone's downtown and our goal is to create an environment which appeals to out-of-towners, yes, but first and foremost to our residents. We want to know the cities they've visited with vibrant downtowns and what they liked about them," Nesselrode said. "This is our way of 'crowd-sourcing' the future of our downtown area."
People taking the survey have until Aug. 16 to submit them to Downtown PKB. Those who respond to the survey are automatically entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card to be used at the Blennerhassett Hotel. Results will be announced in mid-September, Nesselrode said.
Downtown PKB is an organization focusing on the economic revitalization and historic preservation of downtown Parkersburg. Founded in 2010, Downtown PKB is a participant of the West Virginia OnTrac program, which helps cities create a comprehensive approach to economic revitalization and historic preservation by focusing on four key areas: design, promotion, economic restructuring and organization.