The Downtown Management District’s (DMD) sixth annual downtown survey conducted during the entire month of July, 2020 yields surprising results. Participation remains strong with positive responses despite pandemic overall.
The DMD utilizes the unscientific, online survey to gauge the opinions of downtown property owners, business owners, employees, visitors and the general public on the present conditions of downtown, future needs, and the performance of the DMD itself. This year, the global pandemic contributed an additional layer of questions with results that will assist the DMD in strategizing more effective plans when planning for the coming year. The results of this survey were shared with the DMD Board at its August 27th meeting.
The online survey asked fifteen (15) traditional questions in addition to COVID-19 assessment questions, and was made available in both English and Spanish, with 625 slightly lower than last year’s participation.
The online survey was distributed via local media, social media, flyers, direct mail and e-mail.
Regarding the Current State of Downtown El Paso:
- On the Current State of Downtown, 5 of the 6 levels tied or reached their highest levels to date.
- 93% agree that Downtown is IMPROVING.
- 90% of respondents agree that Downtown is SAFE.
Regarding the future of downtown, the public’s top 3 priorities remained the same for the 3rd year in a row with the order changing slightly:
- Safety/Security rose from the #2 priority last year to #1 this year.
- Cleanliness was the #1 priority last year among respondents, but is #2 this year.
Regarding the DMD’s Performance and Services:
- 94% of respondents gave the DMD a passing grade (“C” or better) compared to 95% in 2019
- “A or B” = 86% (improved from 83% last year)
General Survey Observations:
- Participation and Direction is down but not as drastically as expected given current COVID-19 conditions.
- Shift in what’s Most Important – Diverse Retail/Shopping Options breaks into Top 3.
- DMD performance grades improve to all-time high. (Business owners give slight decline.)
- No majority support for expanded services.
- “Clean,” “Welcoming,” “Family Friendly,” “Improving,” and “Fun” reach all-time highs.
- Events (Theatre/Street Festivals) attract people Downtown.
- No majority support for expanded DMD services.
- What property owners need from the DMD
- 64% say attracting new tenants.
- 68% say enhanced sanitation.
- The next 12 months:
- 47.7% of respondents say they DON’T KNOW.
- 38.6% of respondents are OPTIMISTIC.
- 13.7% of respondents are PESSIMISTIC.
The DMD incentivized the survey with a chance to win a $100 gift card to a downtown business of their choosing. Survey respondent, Guy McGunegle won the $100 gift certificate to Café Central, the restaurant of his choice. Visit https://downtownelpaso.com/survey-census-reports/ for the full survey presentation.