City and Business Leaders Share Ideas to Improve Downtown Areas in North Dakota

The seventh annual North Dakota Downtown Conference began Tuesday at the Sanctuary Events Center

FARGO, N.D. — City and business leaders from across North Dakota arrived in Fargo for a conference aimed at improving downtown areas across the state.

Organizers hope that the conference will lead to economic development for all towns in the state – both big and small.

The seventh annual North Dakota Downtown Conference has begun at the Sanctuary Events Center in Fargo.

The goal of the conference is to generate and share ideas to help improve the downtown areas all across the state.

“We try to get people together from all throughout the state that are interested in anything that happens downtown,”  said Johnathan Holth, CEO of the Downtown Community Partnership.  “So, we just try to learn, network with each other, listen to some great speakers, and learn what people are doing in their cities across the state and see what we can take back to our own cities.”

According to event organizers, Fargo’s downtown is an example for the rest of the state to follow.

“There are a lot of elements, the local establishments that are locally–owned that really bring a lot of vibrancy to the downtown,” said Ryan Anderson of Minot.

The focus of this year’s conference is to show how cities of all sizes can make improvements to their downtowns.  The conference hopes this leads to economic developments all across the state.

“I think revitalizing downtowns – downtowns are really the differentiator in your cities, so whether it’s small Main Street in a small community or whether it’s downtown Fargo – downtown Grand Forks – those are the bright spots in our cities,” said Holth.

Organizers hope that these bright spots shine across the state and improve the lives of every North Dakotan.

“Part of what we want to look at too is what can we take away from this conference that we can take to those smaller communities to help that idea of the downtown initiative,” said Anderson.

The event will include a keynote speech by Lt. Governor Brent Sanford on the governor’s Main Street Initiative Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m.

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