La Villita, Market Square, and the Spanish Governor’s Palace are all now under the management of the city’s Department for Culture and Creative Development, formerly known as the Office of Cultural Affairs.
The three areas used to be managed by the city’s Downtown Operations. But after an internal review, it was decided that the Department for Culture and Creative Development could better market what those properties have to offer.
“I think with this change we are able to bring that added value and expertise from a programming perspective,” said Felix Padron, Executive Director of the DCCD.
The switch allows Downtown Operations to hone in on its main focus: maintaining the River Walk, downtown parking facilities and special events, like Fiesta and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon.
“The more we thought about it, the more we realized how important it is to put (these properties) into a department to be able to market them and to do a better job at doing that,” said Downtown Operations Interim Director, Jim Mery.
Twelve employees and the budget for managing the areas were shifted to the DCCD as part of the switch.
The goal of the changeover is to enhance the visibility of these attractions and draw more visitors. Padron says, so far, there is no specific plan developed on how to do that, but that one is being evaluated. He says you could see changes in the next 6 months.
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