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Downtown Fort Worth annual meeting features awards, Democratic presidential hopeful

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Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. (DFWI) hosted its 37th Annual Meeting on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, at 11:30 AM at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel.

The organization gave out two Trailblazer awards. One went to Trinity Metro for its success in connecting Fort Worth with the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport via rail. An “unsung hero” Trailblazer award went to Tracey Gilmour, director of marketing for Sundance Square.

“Downtown residents are adding new energy to the center city,” said Andy Taft, president of DFWI. “They’re dining, shopping, consuming services and feeding a more diverse downtown economy that is building on itself. And that momentum is happening all around the downtown.”

Taft also took note of the many residential projects and hotel projects that are brining more people downtown.

“Like the residential development wave, the hospitality wave will bring more people to downtown at all hours of the day and night,” he said. “And the growth rate is impressive as well. From 2015-2022, we expect the downtown hotel room inventory to increase by 59% and all of those new residential projects, the retailers, the hotels, all of their guests, they are all walking the streets in every corner of downtown.

“And to address their needs, DFWI’s Ambassadors completed their first year on patrol. They have been working closely with downtown police officers, and private security, residents and businesses to make sure that our downtown is as friendly as possible.

“But, more than that, they are tracking issues in downtown that need to be addressed. Daily reports are submitted to the DFWI offices so we can map changes and trends in real time.”

DFWI and downtown high-rise office building owners have partnered to launch a digital marketing campaign aimed at out-of-market corporate location decision makers in C-suites and to corporate real estate professionals to consider downtown Fort Worth for relocation or expansion, Taft said.

“These online ads have been seen more than 5 million times and they’ve driven thousands of unique users to our website. Our partners on this project are Sundance Square, Red Oak Realty, Tear Reed, Anthracite Realty and 777 Main,” he said.

Keynote speaker, former Colorado Gov, John Hickenlooper – and now Democratic presidential candidate – shared his perspective on the value of downtowns and the resurgence of center cities.

A former geologist, downtown businessman, entrepreneur and presidential candidate, John Hickenlooper was inaugurated Colorado Governor in 2011. He became the first Denver mayor to be elected governor in 150 years. He redefined the relationship between a state government and its business and civic communities.

“Gov. Hickenlooper has long been an advocate for robust cities,” said DFWI President, Andy Taft. “His term as Denver’s Mayor is notable for its dramatic expansion of center city commerce and for the renaissance of nearby districts and neighborhoods.”

DFWI’s 2019 Annual Meeting, “Stronger Connections”, celebrates Downtown’s progress in fulfilling the objectives of Plan 2023, Downtown’s Strategic Action Plan and 10-year vision for Downtown Fort Worth as livable, healthy and economically vibrant center for the community.

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