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The Downtown Excelsior Partnership, Inc. received word from the Missouri Main Street Connection State Director, Gayla Roten, last week that DEP is a semifinalist for two different achievement awards for the 2019 Get Plugged Into Downtown Missouri’s Premier Revitalization Conference in St. Louis July 24-26.
The two awards the Downtown Excelsior Partnership, Inc. nominated and were named a finalist in were: Heritage Travel Award & Best Economic Impact Award.  “Our Board, committees and business owners have worked extremely hard to get where we are today, so it is extremely exciting and humbling for all of us to be selected as a semifinalist against the best downtowns in the entire state of Missouri,” says DEP Executive Director, Lyndsey M. Baxter.
The Heritage Travel Award that was listed as a finalist on the statewide level was, DEP’S Experience Excelsior Trip Planner.  This 64 page promotional project and publication encourages tourists and residents alike to visit a variety of historical, cultural, archeological projects and sites located within the Excelsior Springs community.  It highlights all of the community assets and better assists the local resident or potential tourist in planning their complete experience in Excelsior Springs and ensures it is tailored to fit the interest of each and every individual.  The Trip Planner is not meant to be a fundraiser, but rather a break even adventure that supports the community, promotes tourism, encourages traffic to businesses and a highlighter of our community assets.
The Outstanding Economic Impact Award was for the Downtown Excelsior Springs Chapter 353 Tax Abatement Program.  Until recent years when one thought of the Downtown Excelsior Springs commercial and residential areas, the common word that came to mind was blight.  The area continued to dilapidate with little to no revitalization efforts being put in by current property owners.  When asked why, the common consensus was, “the numbers just don’t work.”  The Chapter 353 Program has been developed and implemented as an incentive to encourage the redevelopment of blighted areas through the abatement of real property taxes.  Since the program launched, it has created over $5 million dollars in private investment in the Downtown Excelsior Springs area and that figure only includes the completed projects.
State Director Gayla Roten said, “Congrats and we look forward to celebrating these great achievements together at the Westin in St. Louis soon!”  The ceremony will take place at the Missouri Main Street Conference on Thursday, July 25 during the Evening of Excellence dinner where the winners of the awards will be announced.
Fore more information regarding this press release, please contact DEP Executive Director, Lyndsey M. Baxter, at exec@visitesprings.com.