Several weeks ago, the Rising Star Committee selected our umbrella firm, Hartford Publications (of the Hartford News, the Downtowner, Greater Hartford Magazine …) to develop and promote seven weekends in Hartford.
What timing. The day we started was the day all the bad news hit and the whole world saw that infamous video. Whether the clip was fair or not, the series of tough events stamped Hartford with an image that reminds one of the last few years of the Mayor Perry administration.
For those with institution memories, Hartford has gone through this before and, as time heals all wounds, came out of that slice of time with big changes.
Let’s face it, the six pillars of progress were a direct result of the Perry hangover. Quite a price to pay but 5 years from today, with all the pieces finally together, this month’s troubles may be just that. Remember New York City as the brunt of every late night jokester? Now, New York is the world’s capital, again.
The modest assignment we’ve received is to take weekends that already have events and lure more folks to the events, to city restaurants and hopefully, to our hotels for overnight visits. Each overnight visitor spends much, much more than those who picnic on the Bushnell Park lawn. We start with the Jazz Festival in July and continue to First Night (New Year’s Eve).
Nobody said it would, or will, be easy but the chance to enhance those weekends is there and why not?
Several examples, the Greater Hartford Jazz Festival will have several new features, including: a VIP area for hotel guests. Shade, food and drink will be offered to those who stay over. Also, a brass band will swing around town to cause stir. Another idea is to highlight the Governor’s weekend, December 8th, 9th and 10th. That weekend is loaded with tours, open houses, light shows and events. We’ll put it all together and convince a fair number of people to stay over and do it right.
So, let’s raise our heads and spirits and let the world know that we are doing our best to make progress for Hartford citizens, our visitors and the future.