Co-Promotion for Culver

CabinetWorks Billboard on 31 South

The downtown merchants are constantly hitting up the Culver Town Council and Culver Redevelopment Committee for advertising funds and other assistance. (I’m still flabbergasted that the Town is paying to have their sidewalks cleared. That’s an extremely selective benefit!) Meanwhile, I’ve noticed that CabinetWorks has put up several billboards looking to hire. (See Right) There maybe more, but this one was just south of Plymouth on 31 south and there’s another I saw just north of Rochester on 31 north. I also noticed that Lucrezia Trattoria has a billboard on 31 north headed to Plymouth. (Odd placement, but still gets the point across.)

A few thoughts here:

  • In terms of return on investment, the Town should really be stepping up to help CabinetWorks. They are one of our top employers, a TIF contributor and probably one of the largest taxpayers. These billboards promote Culver and any & all promotion has to be good for the whole. Has the Town Council checked in on them recently? Are they having trouble and can the Town help?
  • CabinetWorks’ position as a major employer also means every one of their employees that does not currently live in Culver is a potential Culver resident. Towns are growing or dying, so if want to continue to grow, we need to help our employers grow and try and capture those employees as residents.
  • The Lucrezia Trattoria billboard hits a similar, but different set of eyes. One thing is certain… everyone that comes to eat there is a potential shopper in the surrounding businesses. How those businesses capitalize on that traffic makes a huge difference to our downtown. With a billboard like this, Lucrezia Trattoria is specifically targeting diners from outside Culver and not just the ones with lake homes that already know about Culver.
Lucrezia Trattoria Billboard by the gravel pit on Hwy 31 North

I have often promoted the idea that downtowns should work like malls to be thrive. To be successful, they need to work together, keep the same hours, run sales on the same days, etc. Culver does this selectively, i.e. sidewalk sale days, but not consistently. On busy restaurant evenings, shops should be open to promote something to do while waiting for a reservation or an option to walk off dinner before heading home. There has been a successful Cupid’s Crawl for Valentine’s Day. How about a St. Patrick’s Day Stumble? We have two Marina’s in Town. How about shutting the street down for an outdoor boat show? The Chamber is no longer doing the Taste of Culver, but I think that’s due to lack of organizers, not because it wasn’t successful. Can the Library be better utilized to have downtown events?

CabinetWorks and Lucrezia Trattoria are going it alone in promoting their businesses, but all of Culver benefits from this exposure. I can’t help but wonder if they know the Town has been using funds for promotions? Can Culver offer to help? Can some co-promotion with other Culver business benefit everyone?

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