South Gloster impressions: Room for improvement

By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Sometimes, it takes an outsider to tell you something you don’t know – or to reinforce what you do know.
For scores of South Gloster business owners and residents and people with a stake in the area – including city officials – what they heard Monday morning was no big surprise.
They were given the results of a “First Impressions” study conducted by Mississippi State University’s John C. Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development, which sent a team of first-time visitors to the South Gloster area on three separate visits.
“It’s a ‘secret-shopper’ program for communities,” said Jeremy Murdock, a project manager with the Stennis Institute. “It’s focused on the entrances to communities … it’s what outsiders see and it’s a fresh new set of eyes. What you see as important may not be to visitors.”
The South Gloster Business Association commissioned the study last year to see what it could do to help revitalize the area.
Murdock said the visitors’ overall impression of the South Gloster was that it was cluttered and lacked identity.
However, he emphasized that the area has great opportunity to capitalize on its strengths like the North Mississippi Medical Center and associated medical offices, the historic nature of the corridor and vacant property that could be revitalized.

Read more in Tuesday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.