Long-term marketability for the town of Farragut, which includes recommending the Town must appeal to Millennials [born from 1981 through 1995] and Generation Z [born 1996 through 2015] in order to grow, was the main topic during Economic Development Advisory Commit-tee’s latest monthly meeting.
Representatives from consulting firm Girl on the Roof, recently retained by the Town, laid out its phase 1 recommendations Wed-nesday morning, March 1, in Town Hall Community Room.
Three primary target audiences are visitors, Town residents and prospective residents plus Town business owners, Carol Reeve, GOTR chief marketing strategist, said.
Reeve said Farragut “is heavily populated by Baby Boomers [born from 1946 through 1964] as well as Generation X [born from 1965 through 1980]” and therefore is influenced by generational values and beliefs.
“But sustainable growth of the Town also will rely on Millennials and Generation Z,” Reeve added.
From a visitor’s perspective, Town “gaps and challenges” identified by GOTR include greenways not being well connected “and can be confusing for visitors … a lack of “visitor-friendly wayfinding signage … geographical spread of retail areas [in lieu of a concentrated downtown area] makes it harder for visitors to locate shopping and dining options outside of Turkey Creek,” an outline stated.
A residential perspective outline of “gaps and challenges” state “the population of Farragut is aging. It needs to attract more young people. ... The Millennial generation is currently the generation with the largest spending power in the United States, accounting for $200 billion of the nation’s economy annually.”
One key point concerning the differences in Baby Boomers versus Millennials, Reeve said, “Is that Millennials are less concerned about what their home is, or what it looks like or how much space they have.
“Because their free time is spent in what is called ‘third space:’ coffee shops, Casual Pint, book stores,” she added. “They hang out in these third spaces, they meet their friends there and that’s their social space.”
Reminding EDAC about the urgency of reaching out to Millennials and Generation Z in order to grow the Town’s branding, Reeve said, “The oldest Millennials are well into their 30s now. … How do we make sure Farragut is still attracting them and appealing to them in order to maintain property values?”
A business outline of other “gaps and challenges” included Farragut being seen “as a bedroom community, not a business community. There’s a fear among older residents that certain types of businesses will devalue nearby neighborhoods. They want to keep the Town residential. There is a perception that Farragut is all about aesthetics, not about economic development.”
Solutions include “developing a more defined mixed-use Town center with dining and shopping options outside of Turkey Creek. … Continue to build the intersection of Campbell Station Road and Kingston Pike into more of a defined downtown,” Reeves said.
“Include a pedestrian walking tour with iconic elements that capture the essence of the Town’s history. … Organize and promote regional sporting events utilizing the 18 fields, courts and diamonds located among Mayor Bob Leonard Park, Anchor Park and McFee Park. … Institute a hotel tax to fund more proactive efforts to attract and retain visitors and businesses,” the outline stated.
With the firm’s process broken into four phases, “Expect to get into the execution phase in May,” Reeve said.