Experts to Tupelo: You're on right track

By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Leaders in downtown Tupelo got a pat on the back Tuesday night, plus some recommendations for improving the district.
Tripp Muldrow and Tee Coker, consultants with South Carolina-based Arnett Muldrow, presented Tuesday what they called “draft recommendations” to a group of leaders, business owners, residents and various stakeholders in downtown Tupelo.
Overall, Muldrow said downtown Tupelo is doing a lot of things right.
“You are playing on a very sophisticated level that rivals cities many times bigger than you,” he said.
He applauded the various activities – Hops amp& Stops, Wine Downtown, North Pole Stroll – hosted in downtown and recommended that the area have more of them.
Coker said, “The most important thing is that we affirm and confirm what you’ve already done and what you’re doing. It’s good to hear that you are on the right track.”
Muldrow recommended that downtown adopt Thursday nights and make sure something is going on every Thursday night in the district.
He advised leaders to end downtown events before dinner and not to provide a lot of food so that the attendees will filter into nearby restaurants.
The consultants also recommended adding a system of wayfinding signs – a recommendation that has been suggested by other studies and plans.
The signs need to help downtown “connect the dots,” Muldrow said. They need to direct people into town, direct them to attractions, direct them from attraction to attraction and direct them to parking.
Muldrow also suggested that downtown businesses adapt a Tupelo-produced television commercial to various print formats. Plus, downtown and Tupelo should work on getting a unified marketing message and image, the consultants said.
Other recommendations including collaborating with other Tupelo retailers to brand the area as “North Mississippi’s Shopping Center,” creating a relocation program to lure musicians to Tupelo, creating a way to allow people to invest money into downtown and working with downtown retailers to find ways to encourage them to stay open later.
“Some of the recommendations are going to require more time, energy and money than others,” Coker said.
Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or

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