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Champion City Guide & Supply Visitor Center and Retail Shop - Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce

2014 ACE: Award of Excellence

Sensing a need to “lead by example” in the revitalization of our downtown, the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitor’s Bureau and Chamber partnered to open a new downtown brand store and visitor center, Champion City Guide & Supply. The store was named after Springfield’s historic “Champion City” moniker – a nod toward the turn-of-the-century Champion Reaper which revolutionized farming.


Date: January 27, 2015
Organization: Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce
Chamber Website: http://www.greaterspringfield.com
City: Springfield, OH
Revenue Category: $450,001-900,000

Champion City Guide & Supply Visitor Center and Retail Shop - Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce

SYNOPSIS:

Sensing a need to “lead by example” in the revitalization of our downtown, the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitor’s Bureau and Chamber partnered to open a new downtown brand store and visitor center, Champion City Guide & Supply. The store was named after Springfield’s historic “Champion City” moniker – a nod toward the turn-of-the-century Champion Reaper which revolutionized farming.

While Champion City Guide & Supply is by definition a retail store and visitor center, its underlying premise is something altogether different. The project was conceived as a means to promote the rich history of our community, improve our community’s self-perception and take an active role in the redevelopment of our downtown. The location also needed to function as the CVB’s primary visitor center after vacating our previous center in 2012.

The store has succeeded in the adaptive reuse of a historic downtown building, has welcomed thousands of visitors and customers through its doors and – perhaps most importantly – has established itself as a source of pride for the local community.

In terms of retail sales, the store is an unmitigated success having achieved gross sales in excess of $40,000 over its first six months in business. This figure eclipsed all plan goals. In addition, the net margin of nearly 55% as allowed the operation to reinvest in additional inventory at a faster than expected pace.

As a visitor center the operation has allowed the CVB to interact directly with transient guests and provide “concierge” service including directing tours from the store location. The museum-like quality of the store has also proved visitors with a deeper understanding of area attractions, heritage and history which enriches their visitor experience.

The popularity of the store is evidenced by the more than 1,000 followers on the store’s Facebook page.

Champion City Guide & Supply Facebook page
Champion City Guide & Supply Website

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