Revitalization of Downtowns – a Training Institute

“New tools for downtown revitalization will be on the agenda for the 14th Annual Downtown Revitalization Training Institute. The institute is slated for Wednesday, May 17 through Friday, May 19 in Olympia and is geared for downtown business and property owners, local economic development staff and volunteers, governmental leaders and other groups and individuals interested in the future of their downtown.Participants will spend three days learning about the Main Street approach to downtown revitalization which focuses on organization, promotion, design and economic restructuring. The institute will feature Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tom Hylton for the opening session. Hylton is the author of Save Our Land, Save Our Towns and is a three-time winner of the American Planning Association’s annual journalism award. He will be sharing strategies about building communities.In addition to lectures, the conference, sponsored by Washington State Community, Trade and Economic Development, includes walking tours, workshops, and discussion groups.Topics include marketing downtowns, the history of signs, overcoming barriers to redevelopment, smart growth, promotions, creating a retail environment, using historic preservation tools, finding funds for promotions, coping with construction, capturing media coverage, shopping as a tradition, and partnering with government on projects.Tours include a visit to the Olympia Farmers Market; mixed use, housing and redevelopment; waterfront development; children’s museum; and downtown historic buildings.The second day of the conference also features the annual Excellence in Downtown Revitalization awards presentation. This event recognizes and celebrates outstanding accomplishments in downtown revitalization throughout the state.For information about the conference or the Washington State Downtown Revitalization Program, contact Susan Kempf, at CTED, 360-586-8977, or via e-mail at”