The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 4, 2013

New group created to enhance, promote downtown Pittsburg


From staff reports

PITTSBURG, Kan. — A new grassroots effort is underway to revitalize and promote Pittsburg’s downtown.

The Pittsburg Downtown Activities Council, comprised of city and chamber officials, business leaders, community members and Pittsburg State University students, recently formed to discuss ways to promote existing businesses, attract new businesses and create a series of events to draw visitors downtown.

“What we want to do is take this wonderful treasure that we have in downtown Pittsburg and light it up,” said Jay Byers, the city’s director of innovation. “We have one of the finest downtown areas in the state, and we want to really start creating a plan to better utilize it, promote it and essentially breathe new life into it.”

Vonnie Corsini, executive director of the Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation, helped spearhead the creation of the Downtown Activities Council. She said an effort is long overdue.

“Every day, when I go to work, I look at Downtown Pittsburg and I dream of the possibilities,” Corsini said. “The opportunities for festivals and shopping and dining and an overall vibrant, alive downtown are right here before us. We just need a group of like-minded, hard-working, creative people to start making our dreams a reality. That’s what the Downtown Activities Council is all about. It’s about making all of our dreams for the downtown area come true.”

The DAC already has also formed committees tasked with different aspects of the effort: Activities, Marketing and Promotions; Infrastructure; and Transportation

“There is so much to think about when putting together an effort like this,” Byers said. “We have a large group of very talented, very bright people. They all have their specific strengths and operating by committee puts those strengths to use in the best possible ways.”