What Does Elk Grove Need To Make it a Destination City; Is It Realistic?

Over the last couple years, one of the recurring themes coming from the dais of the Elk Grove City Council is the desire to make the cit...

Over the last couple years, one of the recurring themes coming from the dais of the Elk Grove City Council is the desire to make the city a "destination."

Since incorporation, this theme has included proposed developments such as the unfinished Elk Grove Promenade mall - a shopping destination, to the more recent push to make Elk Grove a sports tournament center.

With the anticipated release of the upcoming soccer stadium feasibility study, now is a good time to ponder the following questions:

1. What are some of the elements a city or locale should possess to truly earn it the classification as a destination?
2. Can a city that was previously not known as a destination, redevelop itself into a destination? If so, how is it done, is it realistic and who should pay for it?

From our perspective some of the elements a destination place has would include one or more of the following elements: 

1. A distinguishable geographic characteristic. 
2. Some sort of significant cultural attraction, think of a well regarded theater company, a symphony orchestra, a world-class museum. You get the idea.
3. A distinct recreational activity such a hiking trails, snow skiing or surfing.
4. An industry that draws visitors. The most obvious example would be Lodi with its burgeoning wine business.
5. An entertainment draw such as Austin's Sixth Street or South by Southwest Festival.

There is one rather fine distinction we would make regarding the city's pursuit of athletic facilities including a softball complex or aquatics center. While these facilities may draw people here for weekend tournaments, and the accompanying sales tax revenue, the people coming here are compelled to come for participation in their respective tournaments.

In our estimation to truly be considered a destination city, people come not because they are visiting friends or family or attending some sort of tournament, rather they come here to see that certain something the makes Elk Grove a destination.

To that end, we invite our readers whether they are privates citizens or city officials to Email us your thoughts on this topic and specifically address the two questions posted above. If there is sufficient response, we will compile and post your thoughts.

With the The City of Elk Grove poised to make some major decisions regarding the pursuit of endeavors like a soccer stadium, now is the time to start discussing the issue.

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Fast food city said...

Urban sprawl, low budget architecture, and chain-stores/restaurants does not make a destination city. Seen one, you've seen them all.

Until we stop letting developers dictate how our city will evolve based on the market forces of the moment, you can kiss destination city goodbye. Meanwhile, get out to a foodtruck jamboree and enjoy the plain jane working class town we are!

Just off the turnip wagon said...

Hang on to your wallets, this is gonna be a bumpy ride. The politicians with the trumped up market studies and land appraisals are gonna try to buy their way to a destination city with our money!

Go on and visit the roach coach convention on our million dollar property in Old Town and ponder this for awhile.

Anonymous said...

"Destination City?" First we must realize that not every city can or will become that city. There is much to do before that ever happens. Some are cost of living, jobs, local access to healthcare, quality of life. To do that we must pursue some tactics in a few different areas in terms of attractions, bringing people into the region, retaining people who are here already ... and then making sure we're doing a good job of communicating with those people. Focusing on residential real estate is insufficient. The integration of commercial, residential and retail entities is paramount to the success of an area. Everything needs to be connected. Elk Grove seems to focus on starting at the top and hope the rest follows. Remember we are a suburb of Sacramento that is most peoples "destination city." Our 1st/2nd Saturdays are a bust..we need some ideas from a younger group to loosen up things a little..maybe art lining the streets, wine tastings, music piped to the street...invite art students from high schools, Sac State etc. to showe their art. Many more ideas out there I'm sure if the OTF could be more receptive to change. You're a dreamer if you think putting in an Aquatics Center or Sports Complex without considering any of the above will ever work. That works when you have covered all the bases in those plans. HHC would have that Mall in now if they thought EG was a Destination City! JMHO

Capt. Benjamin L. Willard said...

I essentially agree with the post preceding this - Elk Grove will always be second fiddle to Sacramento just as Sacramento will always be the place two hours from Lake Tahoe and two hours from San Francisco. We are are a suburban enclave and it is time to embrace our identity.

Instead of chasing loopy ideas such as an MLS franchise, I might suggest our local government officials spend their time and our taxpayer dollars providing safe street were we don't have to worry about being held-up in broad daylight or being carjacked, maintaining vital services such as garbage collection and making a real effort to fill the empty commercial and retail space that dots our city before we even consider expanding much less wasting taxpayers money trying to fetch a sports franchise.

We may never be a destination city, but is it to much to ask to at least focus efforts on maintaining and enhancing what we already have?

BIA said...

But how can the developers make money? That is the engine that drives EG.

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