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  • 4/16/2019

    Boost Business with Community Events

    Every relocation starts with a site visit; however, not every site visit takes the form of a business meeting. Have you ever thought about the image your community projects to the prospective relocation decision maker (or acquaintance of one) who just happens to be visiting for a completely unrelated reason, such as a recreational or holiday event?
     
    Here in Fairview, Texas — home to many business executives and their families as well as a wonderfully situated Commercial Planned Development District — we are fortunate to offer an environment that supports community events that welcome both local residents and visitors from far and wide. It’s a positive, collaborative atmosphere that shines a light on a city and its economic development efforts working hand in hand. Fairview is leveraging these events by using a portion of the hotel occupancy tax paid by visitors to support a full-time event/marketing specialist position responsible for coordinating and growing events in the community.
     
    Fairview’s Marathon Mania
    One recent example that we are especially proud of is our Fairview Half Marathon and 5K, the spring counterpart to the Showdown Half Marathon and 5K that we launched in 2012. This year we had nearly 600 participants of all ages in the spring race, including runners from Oklahoma, Louisiana, Georgia, Illinois and even New Jersey. In previous years we have seen runners from as far away as Colorado, Ohio, Florida and New York represented on the roster.
     
    Participation and outcomes have been impressive, notes event organizer Libby Jones of The Active Joe: “The first year, we had booths at marathon expos and people would ask, ‘Where’s Fairview?’ After a few years, though, it was clear that people now knew where Fairview was, and it was in part thanks to these two races.”
     
    Fairview residents have enthusiastically embraced the events, Jones adds, bringing out their lawn chairs and visiting with their neighbors while cheering on the runners.
     
    Matt Heatherly, general manager of the Residence Inn by Marriott at the 200-acre multi-use Fairview Town Center, says the marathon participants run in front of his hotel and the staff receives “tons of positive feedback” from guests about the events. “Fairview is known for that family vibe, and we like to be a part of that,” he says.
     
    In addition to providing a meeting room for marathon check-ins and handing out water to the runners, the Residence Inn has hosted The Ticket sports talk radio station’s live broadcasts during the past two years of the Showdown, which takes place during the legendary Texas-OU football weekend.
     
    First Impressions That Last
    The marathons and other events give the local hotels an opportunity to not only book more rooms but also to promote nearby restaurants, retail and entertainment venues from their front desks.
     
    Wendy Ellis, marketing director for Fairview Town Center owner Lincoln Property Company, says any event or activity that exposes visitors to the community unquestionably has business value. “This center has a robust event schedule, and these events absolutely have an impact on the tenants,” she explains. “The restaurants do terrific, and our Candy Canes for Kids event is the kickoff for the holiday shopping season, so that’s good for retail sales.”
     
    Every November, Fairview Town Center hosts Candy Canes for Kids, which Ellis says has become the most highly attended charity event in Collin County, drawing some 25,000 people last year. Co-presented by KLTY radio, the all-day event features performances by local children’s groups, bounce houses, a petting zoo, character appearances and the arrival of Santa followed by a fireworks show. Proceeds, which have grown from $1,800 the first year to more than $27,000 in 2018, benefit the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County.
     
    Fairview Town Center is also the scene of the annual Back-to-School Bash, a free family event that offers fun activities, entertainment and fireworks. And with our newly expanded performance areas and greenspace, the opportunities for showcasing our community and our Town Center will only increase. 
     
    Events like these bring rewards for everyone involved. The entire community — residents, businesses and the city — are united in positive and enjoyable efforts. Visitors see Fairview in a flattering light and have a great time here. Hotels, restaurants and retailers get a revenue boost that often translates to return visits, a healthy boon for city coffers as well.
     
    Regardless of what brings you to Fairview, Texas — whether it’s a half-marathon, a holiday fundraiser or a site visit with Fairview Economic Development — we look forward to the chance to make a glowing first impression that lasts.
     
    Dave Quinn, Fairview Economic Development

     

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