The Panama City Downtown Improvement board looks to other city organizations for help

By Larissa Scott | lscott@wmbb.com

Published 08/25 2016 06:14PM

Updated 08/25 2016 06:14PM

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Big changes are heading to the Panama City Downtown Improvement Board. The organization has been in a transitional period since they cut ties with their executive director in June. 
 
However, some new drastic changes in management, organization, and the mission statement present a much brighter future. 
 
"I'm really excited about the changes. I think it's long overdue that the board find a real direction and be cohesive and that really seems to be happening," said DIB board member and Main Street Antiques business owner Liane Harding. 
 
The Panama City Community Development Corporation, also known as Destination Panama City, will be guiding the DIB through their transitional period. 
 
"We really feel like we're going to be able to help them be able to establish a new identity that falls more in line with the community beautification projects and the marina development project," said Destination Panama City CEO Jennifer Vigil. 
 
"The growth of downtown is going to be in steps. The first part is changing the perception and merging with the CDC is a huge step towards re-branding and marketing the downtown area," said Harding.
 
Destination PC has created a marketing and media plan to get the group back on track. 
 
"To showcase the professional environment that we have in downtown, our doctors, our lawyers, our architects, our engineers, our restaurants, our retailers and our activities that we have down there," said Vigil. 
 
The plan also includes presenting available buildings for business to move in to, as well as Destination Panama City being a  community liaison for the DIB.
 
We'll have someone going and talking to each one of the businesses so we can keep the community informed about what is new when coming to downtown," said Vigil.
 
Destination PC will also use the DIB's downtown office as their satellite visitor's center.
 
"So that will give us a presence for tourist from out of town in both the downtown and the St. Andrews districts," said Vigil.
 
The city said they're hoping that all of these changes will give the DIB a new sense of purpose.
 
"The DIB would focus on downtown promotion, which includes awareness to businesses and folks about what downtown offers," said Panama City Commissioner John Kady.
 
"The DIB needs to be policy makers. We need to focus on the vision and implementing the vision," said Harding.
 
Destination Panama City said they anticipate they will only be helping the DIB through this transitional period.
 

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.