The City of Rutland is one of 10 finalists in a national contest for best Main Street. The contest aims to promote a strong downtown.
“I thought this would be a great opportunity for downtown Rutland so I nominated downtown Rutland to be in the contest,“ said Robert Maguire, owner of Rutland Appliances.
More than 200 downtown regions were entered into the contest. That number was narrowed down to 25 quarter finalists and now to the top 10.
“I think Rutland gets glanced over when it comes to Vermont destinations and downtowns,“ said Nikki Hindman, Marketing and Events Coordinator for the Downtown Rutland Partnership. “I really hope this creates more awareness about everything we have down here, there’s over 30 places to dine, there’s 20 locally owned shops.“
Getting to this point was purely based on the number of votes that were cast from those communities, but the overall winner is now in the panelists’ hands.
The winning Main Street will be announced on Monday. That city will receive a $25,000 prize to help bring its downtown region to its full potential.
“I want that $25,000 prize to grow into something much larger,“ Maguire said.
While Rutland City is bustling, many store fronts in the heart of downtown currently sit empty.
“One of the thoughts that I have is creating grants for businesses that would be potentially going into those store fronts,“ Maguire said.
The Downtown Rutland Partnership would also like to see more signage in downtown to help guide people to its main attractions.
The city of Montpelier also made the top 25. The final winner will be announced Monday.