Working Together Toward Success
Denton, Maryland is a community of about 3,000 located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. As the seat of Caroline County, Denton has a rich history. The community was settled in 1781 along the banks of the Choptank River and was a major trading center for the surrounding agricultural region. The community remained a center of commerce for much of the rural surroundings for many years. Like many communities however, downtown Denton has seen ups and downs as the major retail trade has moved to the by-pass and other retail destinations grew up nearby.
However, Denton has not been content to let downtown languish. The community and its partners are pursuing aggressive plans to revitalize downtown through an arts initiative, riverfront redevelopment, a cooking school, and other major projects. In addition, the Denton Main Street program was formed as a companion organization designed to work with downtown property owners, merchants, and the community at large to foster investment in downtown and promote the district. To that end, Denton pursued grant funding to pay for an updated market study for downtown as well as a branding and marketing strategy for the community.
Arnett Muldrow & Associates, Ltd. was hired to conduct the study of Denton looking at opportunities for downtown; and develop a marketing strategy for promoting Denton as a place to shop, visit, and invest. The study began with a series of stakeholder interviews and roundtable work sessions along with a zip code survey of customers held in June and July 2009. The zip code research led to a market definition study and a sales and retail leakage analysis for the community. Altogether this information was used to craft a series of recommendations to grow Denton amidst challenging economic times.