Downtown Development Director Ann Arnold is expected to report to the DDA board today that downtown Rome businesses added 106 jobs during the past year. Also, 28 new businesses opened downtown, and 13 businesses closed.
Arnold said Wednesday that more than 180 promotional events brought more than 108,000 people to the downtown
district throughout the year. The statistics include a wide variety of events ranging from bull riding at The Forum to plays at the DeSoto Theatre.
“That just shows the collective impact of all the things that are done downtown. That’s what helps support the restaurants, the retailers, the arts,” Arnold said.
The annual First Friday concert series was expanded to include a couple of block parties on Broad Street, including the last concert of the season in September that drew more than 4,000 people.
“The businesses and restaurants saw phenomenal numbers that night,” Arnold said. “We’re going to put the May and September — the opening and closing concerts — on Broad Street.”
The May event will close the 200 and 300 blocks, while the September event will close the 300 and 400 blocks.
Separate from the First Friday series, the DDA will work with the Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority on an Oct. 26 party on Broad Street highlighted by a Zombie Run.
The DDA board will examine a proposed plan of work for 2013 during today’s meeting, which is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. in the Carnegie Building on Broad Street. The focus is expected to be on recruiting more retailers and enhancing second-story residential development.