(WOIO) - Hello, my name is David Gilbert and I serve as CEO of Positively Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.
Cleveland is on a real roll. We are in the midst of more than $9 billion in projects, $2 billion related to our fast growing travel and tourism industry. Our new convention center and Medical Mart, Horseshow Casino, Cleveland Aquarium and Museum of Contemporary Art and others are adding tremendous excitement and millions of new visitors to our downtown and university circle.
But for all of the benefits of this new development to be successful and sustainable, two important things need to happen.
First is to realize that these projects alone will not sustain significant growth. Once these projects are no longer new. we must plan for and invest in the things that will encourage a great visitor experience - like beautiful sidewalks, planters, wayfinding programs, customer service and great branding – that will enhance these major projects and bring repeat customers.
Second is that Clevelanders must become our own salespeople. We play a large role in how this city is perceived by others. We need to understand this is a great city with great people and not continue our 'woe is us' attitude.
With smart and hard work, and belief in ourselves, we can make the difference.