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Downtown Huntington Partners implements ambassador program

March 17, 2019 GMT

HUNTINGTON — Downtown Huntington Partners, an organization of local business owners and managers aiming to promote downtown, is poised to implement an ambassador program in the downtown area.

The group has been working for several months on the idea and is ready to take the next step under the direction of newly hired executive director MacKenzie Morley.

“It is a volunteer-based program that is focused on providing a positive visitor experience for all who come to downtown,” Morley said.

Morley says representatives of the central downtown district, adorned in bright purple vests with “Ask Me” buttons, will introduce themselves to businesses and visitors.

“They will distribute information on future events or attractions, answer questions, and overall they will offer support and help to the whole community of downtown Huntington,” she said.

“Several business and property owners got together last year and began discussing what we could do to enhance the visitor’s experience to downtown,” said Philip Nelson with Capital Venture Corp. “That led to discussions with Downtown Huntington Partners, who were very excited at the prospect. The convention and visitors bureau, which is a DHP member, came on board quickly, too, as did the city of Huntington. So this is a real partnership that will benefit all entities.”

Known as DCAP of Huntington (Downtown Community Ambassador Program), the group will concentrate initially on having a presence during events.

A trial run took place Friday and will continue Saturday, March 16, in conjunction with DHP’s St. Patrick’s Day shopping event, “Let’s Get Shamrocked.” Shoppers can purchase a necklace from participating retailers and then take advantage of discounts and savings across downtown Huntington from over 25 local businesses. Necklaces are available for $10 from any of the participating businesses, Morley added.

“The concept of an ambassador program is not a new concept,” Morley said. “We have successfully seen other cities implement this type of program, and many have grown significantly due to effectiveness in helping a segment of the community. DCAP is born from an organic desire to help our thriving downtown continue to grow and mold itself into the welcoming, destination city we know we can be.”

Tyson Compton, president of the Cabell-Huntington Convention & Visitors Bureau, says he is excited his agency will be a partner in this program.

“We will be supplying the vests and our visitors’ guides for ambassadors to distribute,” Compton said. “From the guests who pass through our Visitors Center in Heritage Station, we know that they can have a lot of questions. They want information on restaurants, parking, and what they can see

and do here. Our downtown is experiencing an incredible resurgence, and from that we expect the numbers of visitors to continue to grow.”

“This is a project that we are extremely proud of and excited to try out this weekend,” Morley said. “DCAP of Huntington is a program devised to enhance our downtown for any and all who come to visit; armed with knowledge of future events, a smile and a helping hand, these ambassadors will help ensure that everyone’s experience downtown is pleasant, enjoyable and memorable enough to want to return.”

For more information on Downtown Huntington Partners or DCAP, contact Morley at 681-888-5911 or via email at mackenzie@kenzingtonalley.com.