Saturday, April 28, 2001

What's the Buzz?

DCI busy reassuring businesses

        Downtown Cincinnati Inc. has spent much of the last two weeks trying to reassure merchants, hotel operators, building owners and restaurateurs about downtown's image after the debilitating race riots of early April.

        The marketing group met separately with a half dozen of those groups on orders from its executive committee.

        The meetings could result in a marketing campaign to try to convince suburbanites and visitors that downtown is a safe destination for dining, shopping and entertainment.

        They were talking about a response to the rioting in the wake of the April 7 killing of an unarmed black man by a Cincinnati police officer. That was followed by four nights of a citywide curfew, which hurt business at a variety of downtown restaurants and attractions.

        With customers skittish about coming downtown and national media portraying a city engulfed in racial violence, downtown business owners are understandably nervous about their prospects, said David Ginsburg, executive vice president at DCI.

        “They want to try to find ways they can get the word out and also ways they can help address these problems,” Mr. Ginsburg said. “There's a lot of energy and goodwill out there.”

        Downtown businesses “are saddened by the events of the last couple of weeks,” he added. “They're trying to take this tragedy and really build on it.”

— Cliff Peale

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- What's the Buzz?