Visitor Services– We are moving the Visitor Services Department into their new digs at the Village on the Parkway on the Montfort side. They will be joining the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce who is already a tenant of ours in the new offices. The Craft Guild will be moving over in late January and we hope to have the visitor center, that we are calling Visit Addison, open by the first of March. The new offices will give us a more visible presence in the community and will enable us to promote tourism and our hotels in a lot of different ways. Once the Craft Guild gets located we will be jointly promoting opportunities for people to come to Addison to learn about art and all of the entertaining things that there are to do in the area. We really want this to be the Visitor Center for North Dallas County. Having the Metrocrest Chamber in the building will give us many opportunities to promote the benefits of all of the communities in our area. We are planning to do culinary weekends and teach all of the classes that have made the Craft Guild so popular for the last 60 years. It is going to be a fun place and you can get information on all of our hotels, special events, restaurants and area attractions in one place. The Craft Guild will be offering classes earlier, but we won’t open Visit Addison until March. You can visit the Chamber and the Visitor Services Departments, because they are open now. Bob Phillips, our Director of Visitor Services and Diana George our Sales Manager would welcome a visit from you if you are in the Village on the Parkway. The addition of Visit Addison will be one of our efforts to help the center rebrand itself as a place for unigue retail and artistic offerings. In the mean time, you can check out the wonderful glass ornaments that Kittrell Rifkind has for the Holidays. They have incredibly unique gifts and jewelry that would delight anyone you are shopping for and they are real nice people and would appreciate your patronage. We are hoping that more businesses with artistic products like Kittrell Rifkind will be drawn to the center when the Craft Guild and Visit Addison open. It would be nice to have a retail development that did not have the same stores you see in every community. We have a good start in the Village on the Parkway and we are planning on building on it.
A Perfect Match– I was talking to Roger and Harriet Mellow about their daughter Karen Stock the other day and they mentioned that their son in law Aric had written a letter that was published in the Northwestern University Magazine. The story is about a journey they took to find a stem cell donor for Karen. I would like you to read Aric’s account of that experience so I won’t give you all the details of Karen’s illness and wonderful results. You can access the story on line at http://www.northwestern.edu/magazine/winter2010/feature/bonemarrowrecipientthankyouletter.html
Harriet said the purpose of the letter was for Aric to express his extreme thankfulness to this individual and to create more awareness for the Donor Registry. It literally can be the gift of life. I hope you will consider signing up. I told Harriet that there are some really nice caring people out there in the world and this is a story about a whole bunch of them.
Calendar Delivery – The Town employees delivered the annual calendar to all of the residents yesterday. I hope you all got one and have had a chance to look it over. We also included a mouse pad with some useful information and we would like for you to tell us how we are doing and if there are things that you think need our attention. You can go to addisontx.gov/survey.html. to communicate your thoughts. The businesses in town receive their calendar through the mail, so those should be coming soon. I will write more aobut that effort next week and include some photos.
The Cotton Belt – The North Central Texas Council of Governments and DART have been working on ideas to expedite the construction of the Cotton Belt through some innovative financing mechnism’s. We received a report today that is incouraging. Council members Bianca Noble and Kimberly Lay were in attendance at the meeting in Arlington where the consultant team talked about their progress. Along the almost 60 miles of the corridor there are over 130 entities that have the potential to benefit from the development of the Cotton Belt. Some are cities and some are property owners, or developers or hotels or office buildings. There are a lot of potential stake holders that could make the project viable and advance it forward. So, it is another step in the right direction, but we have a lot of work to do, but the City Council is dedicated to the task. The ultimate beneficiaries will be the traveling public if we can cause the project to be constructed quicker.
It was interesting to hear the consultant predict that in 50 years the DFW area would increase population from 6.5 million to 18 million residents. All those people can’t get on LBJ, even after they improve it. It is going to take a lot of different modes of transportation to move everyone. The Cotton Belt is an important corridor that needs rail to be developed as soon as possible.
Of course I will be 111 years old then and will probably be flying around town like the Jetson’s, but some of you will be stuck on the ground and will need some good transportation systems. That is what we are working on.