The Rochester Downtown Development Corp. plans to launch a pilot ambassador program for downtown.
The RDDC will partner with Visit Rochester, along with support from Monroe County and the city of Rochester, to provide hospitality-focused guides in the downtown core.
The program would promote the area’s amenities and activities, and provide wayfinding and information to residents, workers, convention attendees and other visitors to the city.
“A downtown ambassador pilot program complements and builds on the great momentum in place in the downtown core today,” Galin Brooks, RDDC president and CEO, said in a news release.
Monroe County, through the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency (COMIDA), is providing $300,000. COMIDA approved the funding allotment last week.
“We want all of our visitors to know we are a warm, welcoming community with things to do and sights to see,” County Executive Adam Bello said. “By giving our guests and even our long-time residents directions, recommendations on spots to grab a bite to eat or the inside scoop on unique cultural events happening around town, these ambassadors will help ensure everyone who visits our city has the best experience possible, and leaves with positive memories and a desire to return.”
The program would be similar to hospitality efforts found in other cities such as Pittsburgh, Ithaca and Washington, D.C.
From new construction, the re-creation of landmark buildings and the pending creation of a state park at High Falls, leaders want to be able to showcase the city.
“With all of the investment occurring downtown, now is the right time for partners to come together to connect people to all the amenities and attractions downtown Rochester has to offer,” Mayor Malik Evans said. “Collaborations like this one will help attract more people downtown, which will encourage more growth and create a positive and productive cycle of prosperity.”
The RDDC says foot traffic is about 30 percent lower than pre-pandemic numbers, the number of people working in downtown offices is about half of pre-pandemic levels.
A vendor that specializes in community service programs will be selected through an RFP to administer the program. Ambassadors will be employed by the vendor and travel by foot and bicycle.
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