According to the Sociable City Network, nighttime economies attract other economic development and the creative class that have catalyzed the renaissance of notable cities worldwide. Tapping the after-five potential can be prosperous investments that drive community revitalization, increase residential and commercial property value and generate much-needed city revenue and employment.
In response to the rapid growth of Downtown Milwaukee’s nighttime
economy, Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 retained the services of the
Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI) – a private, non-profit
organization that assists businesses and communities in creating safe,
vibrant and economically prosperous places to socialize. Downtown
Milwaukee’s nighttime energy is a heavy draw, which adds to Milwaukee’s
appeal as a tourism destination. Tourism is Milwaukee’s second largest
Contracted in the fall of 2010, RHI began a Hospitality Zone Assessment (HZA) that focused on the East Town, Westown, Historic Third Ward and Brady Street neighborhoods. Six core elements of nighttime operations were used to assess the functionality and potential of these densely populated districts – entertainment, transportation & parking, quality of life, public safety, multi-use sidewalks and venue safety. Subcommittees for each of the core elements were assembled and a Downtown Milwaukee RHI Task Force of more than 55 individuals was created.
Comprised of downtown residents, legal counsel, business improvement district directors, police officers, club owners, marketing professionals, transportation operators, special event experts and more, RHI facilitated discussions to spur enhancements to the framework that will support positive nighttime growth. The process included an orientation, late night tour, numerous roundtable focus groups, and generation of a report and action plan, all culminating into an industry-wide leadership summit. Focus groups were also given access to RHI’s Sociable City Network where members could research challenges and solutions executed by other urban centers.
Through the six-month Hospitality Zone Assessment, Downtown Milwaukee’s Responsible Hospitality Task Force identified solutions to better grow the nighttime economy. Action steps for the six core elements of nighttime operations are currently underway. The anticipated completion date for many of the projects is September 2011.
DOWNTOWN MILWAUKEE NIGHT OUT
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ADDITIONAL MEDIA LINKS
The RHI Summary Report refers to some resources or model nightlife
initiatives in other cities, which are described in more detail in the
Report's Appendix 2. The full content of many of these resources are
contained on RHI's SociableCity.org and can be accessed at the following
1. Got Nightlife? Managing Sociability as an Economic Engine.
2. NYC Nightlife Association Video Regarding Economic Impact of Nightlife
3. Edmonton, AB Canada Economic Impact Survey
4. Nightclub & Bar Magazine "What's Nightlife Worth?"