How events drove downtown Raleigh growth. (or not?)


I’ve been thinking a lot about events in DTR and in short, they once were the driving factor for getting people here. Now, the event scene has matured and we can look at other methods of getting people here.

More on the blog.


I feel like it really picked up when Glenwood South started turning around. That used to be where we’d go to buy appliances and furniture.


Events were just a way to market and show you *can have fun downtown. ow so many people are having fun doing everyday stuff, the roller coaster is off and running. Complimentary events are still good and probably a good long term strategy to make people feel like their investment was in an area that offer more than other places. What that sweet spot is, of course, very debatable.


I don’t think that events will ever really go away, but I do think that they’ll play a different role among a more robust collection of experiences that shape downtown’s energy. With more residents, restaurants, bars, etc., than there used to be, there’s already a larger daily base of activity. Businesses downtown aren’t as reliant on large events as they used to be. Also, with many new residents in the core of the city, the impact of closing roads is more consequential than it used to be.
If I were “the city” or its agents, I’d gladly trade in the logistical nightmare or coordinating big events for a more sustained hustle and bustle that more residents, more retail and more activities provides. With more retail and experience venues on the near horizon, that is starting to take shape.
That said, I think that the city needs to do what it can to expand those experiences with targeted actions to establish venues like a multiscreen theater, upscale bowling, live music venues, destination retail, etc., that will build upon its growing residential and civic infrastructure.


hummm this is sounding like the Epicenter discussion we had a while back… just saying :stuck_out_tongue:


I personally don’t want them in a unitized package. I’d rather see it happen more organically.