York City Making Improvements To Market Downtown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Image via Wikipedia

One year ago, Roger Brooks visited York City and came up with 33 recommendations how downtown York could market itself and attract people.  This idea should sound familiar to Pottstown residents after a ULI study and recommendations were made for Pottstown.

What did York do with these 33 recommendations?  Do you suppose they ignored them or possibly took an expert at their word and went about trying to carry out these ideas?  I know, sounds pretty zany, doesn’t it!

Mr. Brooks gave York a 3 – 5 year time frame to make the changes.  Like Pottstown, York has a downtown entity similar to PDIDA, called Downtown Inc.  Their Executive Director, Sonia Huntzinger reports they have completed 18 out of 33 recommendations in the first year!

Some of these recommendations, Pottstown has already completed (mainly the cosmetic ones).  One unique recommendation, completed in October, was a “best of” guide.  Downtown Inc. released a Downtown Destination guide which promotes downtown York!

Brooks recommended that York brand itself as “America’s Industrial Art and Design Capital”.  The York County Economic Development Corp. has developed “Creativity Unleashed” to support this effort.  The idea is to attract young professionals and artists to York along with tourism.  A logo was developed to be used by organizations and companies in their advertising to help promote this rebranding.

How refreshing to see that the county and the city work together to achieve these goals.  How refreshing to see the vigor with which York is embracing these recommendations for positive change.

If you would like to check out Downtown Inc.’s website site, click here: http://downtownyorkpa.com/

To view their 25 page Downtown Destination brochure, click here:


To view Creativity Unleashed info, click here:


If this doesn’t inspire you, check your pulse!

3 comments on “York City Making Improvements To Market Downtown

  1. Hi Roy, I really LOVE that you post what other cities in PA and throughout the region are working on towards the ‘revitalization, marketing and branding fronts’. Some naysayers might speak that these places are apples to oranges comparisons, city instead of borough, county seat versus non-county seat, large population with large budget vs. Pottstown. Personally, I like the comparisons and these types of posts because it shows your readers that other communities are ‘casting aside the old hats that we like to call negativity and starting to believe that their communities are special places that can attract new residents and tourists alike! Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks for reading Andrew and welcome!

      Anything these other places can do, Pottstown can do. We have a bad habit of getting in our own way. We spent all that money on the ULI study and then we ignore half of it. It seems less a question of budget than following the advice of an expert(s).

      Thanks for that post about Quakertown via Katy. I will be commenting on that. Quakertown is much smaller than Pottstown so there is a good example of size doesn’t matter when it comes to revitalization. Columbia, PA was another post about a much smaller town that focused on their riverfront and economic development etc… It can be done 🙂

      Thanks again and come back often!

  2. It really comes down to two things, Roy (see the case study of Rudy Guliani’s two terms as mayor of NYC): make people feel safe, and encourage them to come downtown with pro-visitor policies, not counter-productive overly zealous parking restrictions focused on revenue generation instead of “rolling out the red carpet”. It’s basic Customer Service 101, but I see no indication that York has “seen the light” on either issue. I appreciate your fervor but until we deal with reality honestly and directly, at the end of the day it’s all just unsustainable puffery.

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