New Canaan’s cultural heritage should be spotlighted and promoted, according to a volunteer committee of the town.
The focus of the Tourism and Economic Development Advisory Committee, known as ‘TEDAC,’ includes increasing resident usage of New Canaan’s downtown area and other attractions, and developing communication strategies using existing platforms in order to bring more visibility to what the town can offer, according to members of the committee.
Addressing the Board of Selectmen at its July 9 meeting, TEDAC Interim Chair Tucker Murphy described some of the research the committee has undertaken. She said the group has taken up a survey of people who have recently moved to New Canaan as well as an economic study of the downtown area.
One of the things Murphy said the committee has discovered is that locals “may not fully take advantage of all we have to offer.”
“If just the people of New Canaan used all the services and all the businesses that were here, we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion,” TEDAC member Robert Doran said at the meeting, held at Town Hall. The question, he added, is “How do we leverage what we have amongst the people who live in town already?”
“And then reach out to other communities to join us,” he said.
Murphy referenced a presentation sent to the selectmen prior to the meeting. According to the presentation, acquired by NewCanaanite.com through a Freedom of Information Act request, some of the concrete ideas that TEDAC is now focused on include an association of Mid-Century Modern homes, and encouraging local restaurateurs to collaborate even more than they already do.
The committee, which Murphy said has met six times since its establishment in December, had agreed to measure its success in a number of possible ways, including using sales tax revenue, pedestrian traffic, visitor information or commercial vacancies, according to the presentation.
In terms of getting its message out, Doran said the committee had decided that the best course of action was to make use of existing town-related websites and social media platforms rather than muddying the waters with additional TEDAC branding.
“We don’t want to reinvent the wheel here,” Doran said.