Cleveland’s potential as a tourist spot was highlighted today at a presentation involving city planners and leaders. Roughly 200 people gathered at the House of Blues for the “Destination Cleveland” event, a culmination of four months’ work following a summit last November. Ideastream’s Brian Bull reports on some of the projects.
The Cleveland Planning Commission’s chair, Tony Coyne, discussed a $40-million plan to turn Public Square into a mall area similar to Chicago’s Millennium Park, which would involve landscaping and closing off part of Ontario Street. Coyne says he’s approached the city, county, and potential sponsors to fund the plan.
“The transformation of Public Square is key to our downtown," said Coyne. "And partly because of what’s going on with the (Horseshoe) casino, Gateway, and hopefully the restoration of lower Euclid and Prospect.”
And Steve Bitto, a Regional Transit Authority spokesman, says plans are underway to launch two new transit lines by Memorial Day. He says one would connect passengers to convention sites and attractions, connecting up to eight hotels.
"Again, with all the entertainment districts…East 4th, Warehouse, Playhouse Square…obviously the (Horseshoe) casino and the Avenue at Tower City. Ultimately, the convention center and the Med Mart.”
Another line would connect to lakefront attractions. Bitto says there’s $1-million in federal money for those lines, and they’re seeking $740,000 more from donors.
And Positively Cleveland – the group leading the initiative – says a new software application has been launched. Called “aRes”, it lets visitors book flights, lodging, car rental, and tickets to Cleveland attractions within one integrated shopping cart online.