Every visitor or tourist who gets lost in Wilton Manors is a lost chance for the city’s businesses to make money.
That’s one of the reasons the city plans to erect wayfinding signs, said Kimber White, member of the city’s Economic Development Task Force.
“We want to direct people to the Entertainment District, bars, restaurants, other businesses, parking lots, city hall ... to drive people into the heart of town. If people don’t know where they’re going you are kind of defeating your purpose.”
White said the Task Force wants signs similar to those in nearby Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. “It will help our city grow.”
According to the city’s request for proposal, the signs will “increase connectivity of community assets, develop an increased sense of place, increase awareness of commercial areas, allow the identification of unique neighborhoods, and encourage exploration of the city by tourists.”
One of the places likely to get a sign is the welcome center that Constance Ruppender plans to incorporate into Art Gallery 21, located in the Woman’s Club of Wilton Manors next to Hagen Park. Ruppender has put a lot of work into Art Gallery 21 and is currently working to turn part of it into a welcome center for the city. The welcome center is partly to get more attention for Art Gallery 21 but both would benefit from a sign.
“I think [wayfinding signs are] essential if we’re going to direct people where to go,” she said.
Ruppender was in Miami Sunday and said that the city has wayfinding signs pointing towards Lincoln Road, the beach, and other destinations there. “It really makes a difference.”
The deadline for proposals to be submitted to the city is Oct. 27. City officials could choose a contractor as early as Nov. 15.
The Task Force is also working on creating a “photospot” in the city to encourage tourists and visitors to post their trip to Wilton Manors on social media. Jaycee Park, located across from city hall, is the spot chosen by the Task Force.