Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Summary of April 20, 2004 City Council Luncheon Meeting

The First City Council Presentation of the Wayfinding Sign System as Noted in the City's White Paper

Members present: Tom Carlson, Mary Collette, John Wylie, Denny Whayne, Gary Deaver, Sheila Wright, Conrad Griggs, and Bob Jones. Ralph Manley was absent.

Guests present: Jeff Corbin, Consultant, Corbin Design Group; Barb Baker, Urban Districts Alliance (UDA); Tracy Kimberlin, Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB); Dale Ricks, and Leo Kalona, Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDot); Christina Moses, Battlefield Mall; and Members of the Media.

Staff present: Tom Finnie, and Bob Cumley, City Manager's Office; Ralph Rognstad, Vern Morgan, Mary Lily Smith, and Brendan Griesmer, Planning and Development; Earl Newman, Public Works; Louise Whall, Public Information Office; Howard Wright, City Attorney; Brenda Cirtin, and Anita Baker, City Clerk's Office.

According to the notes, Tom Finnie made some remarks about wayfinding signs, then introduced Vern Morgan of Planning and Development. Mr. Morgan noted that Bass Pro and Wonders of Wildlife representatives had been invited to the meeting but, were not present.

Mr. Corbin gave a "Wayfinding and Cross Marketing Challenge" presentation. Corbin said approximately 70 percent of all visitors to Springfield explore one of three major destinations: Bass Pro/Wonders of Wildlife; Downtown/Jordan Valley Park; and the Battlefield Mall.

Corbin discussed cross marketing secondary attractions like the Dickerson Park Zoo by using informational kiosks or pedestrian maps at the three major destinations. He also talked about using existing billboards to advertise Jordan Valley Park within the Wayfinding System.

Other points Corbin discussed were: The need for periodic realignment of destinations listed in the Wayfinding System; The total cost of $600,000; The need to set aside $200,000 of the total cost for "gateways"; that 15 percent of the total spent on the signage should be designated each year for maintenance of the signs; and the signs should be replaced about every 7 years.

Corbin recommended the following steps to implement the program:

1. Clarify MoDot's position/role
2. Design the program
3. Test the design
4. Document the project
5. Bid the project
6. Fabricate and install the signs

In an insuing discussion about the wayfinding signs the following points were made by different people throughout the course of the discussion:

> The issue of electronic marketing, such as radio, was a recommendation for the cross marketing destinations within the City. (Corbin, Corbin Design Group)

> An area around Kansas City had been court ordered to implement "enhancements" (presumably like the wayfinding signs) but, not to the extent Springfield was discussing implementing them. (Ricks, MoDot)

> MoDot did not want distracting signage which could be linked or related to an accident. (Ricks, MoDot)

> The Wayfinding System would be similar to the "monument idea" proposed as a Highway 13 entrance to the City. (Finnie, City Manager's office)

> Costs could be divided between several entities, if so desired by the City. (Corbin, Corbin Design Group)

> Federal or state grants via transportation enhancement monies would be options related to financing a portion of the Wayfinding System. (Corbin, Corbin Design Group)

> 35 percent of tourists in Springfield also visited Branson. (Kimberlin, CVB)

> 17 percent of over-night travelers who stayed in Springfield also went to Branson. (Kimberlin, CVB)

> Finances were a major reason the City did not advertise or market the Zoo in 2004. (Finnie, City Manager's Office)

> The CVB and Chamber of Commerce had had meetings to "brand" the City of Springfield for marketing purposes but, had not come to a decision or conclusion. (Kimberlin, CVB)

> One of the themes for review by the Chamber of Commerce regarding "branding" the City of Springfield was, "a common name in an uncommon place." (Finnie, City Manager's Office)

> Existing wayfinding signage would be replaced for a consistent look throughout the system. (Corbin, Corbin Design Group)

> A better system was needed to guide visitors to the three major destinations; cross market to secondary locations such as the Zoo and Fantastic Caverns. (Finnie, City Manager's Office)

> Costs of "the three" Corbin Design Group recommended steps were not definite at that time. (Corbin, Corbin Design Group and Morgan, Planning and Development)

> Funds were available at the time from the quarter-cent monies for the signage. (Finnie, City Manager's Office)

(Source: City of Springfield; City Council Luncheon Notes, April 20, 2004)


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