Woodbury is taking steps toward two new initiatives that will help promote the city, bring economic development and possibly brand it as a destination for conventions and regional events.
Woodbury City Council identified two strategic initiatives at its biennial planning session earlier this spring that will receive final approval at the first meeting in July.
City officials discussed an integrated marketing and branding plan and the possible establishment of a convention and visitors bureau (CVB), which would be run by an independent board, as well as updating the economic development strategic plan at a Wednesday, June 26, workshop.
The new marketing plan is still in its infancy and the council would need to hire a consultant to give input on the branding aspects and how to move forward with the plan.
Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens said the key word is “integrated” and the consultant would point out what the city is already doing well and how it can build on existing practices.
“It’s fun from a creative standpoint,” she said.
She added that a different consultant would have to be hired to provide those other skill sets needed to develop a CVB.
Economic Development Manager Janelle Schmitz said a CVB would require the city to adopt an ordinance that charges all hotels a lodging tax.
A CVB would market the community as a whole as well as its hotels and amenities, like the new Bielenberg Sports Center, she added, for large public gatherings, conventions and regional events.
Council Member Paul Rebholz said details of the integrated marketing plan should be hashed out before identifying whether or not the city needs a CVB.
Approval of the two initiatives will give staff the green light to continue working on the plans that would unify Woodbury’s image, branding and messaging to attract more local and regional events to public and private facilities.
The new economic development strategic plan will focus on the Woodbury HealthCore Alliance, the former State Farm campus, Gateway Corridor, redevelopment and the growth of the city’s commercial and residential tax base.