Oakland First Impressions Program Plans for Enhanced Visitor Experience

What do visitors to Oakland think about the community? Is the community rolling out the welcome mat to tourists, potential new residents, and prospective business owners? Can the community make changes that will attract more visitors to stay longer in the area? How can the community work together to enhance the “first impressions” of their business districts, visitor services, and unique tourist attractions? 
The Oakland First Impressions Program is a project of the City of Oakland, Economic Development Committee, and RDI's Rural Economic Vitality team. The program launched last fall, as a part of the committee’s goals to support enhancement of the downtown business area. 
In late November, a visiting team with expertise in tourism, small business, real estate, and downtown revitalization conducted a day-long “first impressions” assessment, driving around the city, exploring on foot, and visiting businesses in and around the central business district, all with a focus on visitor-oriented stores and services.
The assessment team looked at local infrastructure and amenities, building exteriors, interiors, and customer service. The report generated from this visit will be presented for a community-wide discussion about how well local efforts are achieving their goals and where future projects can be implemented to further support the vitality of local businesses and the community.
The community is invited to participate in an action planning meeting on Tuesday, February 21, at 6:00 p.m. at the Oakland Community Center.
For more information, contact City of Oakland Mayor Bette Keehley, email: bette@keehley.com or phone (541) 459-9504, or RDI's Anne Mitchell, email: amitchell@rdiinc.org or phone (541) 256-0551.
Click here to view or download a flyer.
RDI’s First Impressions program provides a community with an objective assessment of its downtown’s true first impression on newcomers and visitors. The knowledge gained from the assessment can be used as a catalyst for positive and effective community involvement, action, and change, leading to an improvement in the fresh appearance, offering of services, and infrastructure of a community. The program is offered in collaboration with Oregon Main Street