Main Street survey shows strengths, room for growth

Friday, February 22, 2019

Main News Photo

Bill Shea

Buildings constructed in the early 1900s fill downtown Fort Dodge and collectively are the most popular feature of the area, according to a newly released survey.

That same survey reveals that people would like to see more businesses, especially eating and drinking establishments, downtown.

Those were among the key findings of a market analysis survey conducted last year by Main Street Fort Dodge. Its results were released Thursday evening during a meeting at Olde Boston’s Restaurant & Pub, 809 Central Ave.

Jim Bird, president of Main Street Fort Dodge, described the data released Thursday as the “culmination of the information we got.”

The survey collected some basic demographics, and provides market insights based on online and in-person surveys.

Consumers surveyed cited the Webster County Courthouse and other historic buildings as the thing they love most or would never change about downtown Fort Dodge, according to the report released Thursday.

The report also revealed that 66 percent of the people surveyed said they feel the customer service they receive from downtown businesses is equal to or better than what they receive at other places where they frequently shop.

However, 45 percent of those surveyed indicated that the quality of products and services they purchase downtown are equal to or better than what they get elsewhere.

Food and drinks topped the list of what people surveyed would like to see downtown. Of those participating in the survey, 61 percent listed food service and drinking places as the No. 1 thing they’d like to see more of downtown.

Other desired additions included specialty shops and boutiques, entertainment venues, sporting goods, hardware, improved parking and parks, according to the survey.

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