Group revamped as 'Destination Oneonta'

Benjamin Patton | The Daily StarThe building at 2 Dietz St. is seen in Oneonta on Tuesday.

Main Street Oneonta, which last year changed its name to Destination Oneonta, continues a metamorphosis.

The organization is working to secure funding, expand membership and develop avenues to enhance and promote greater Oneonta downtown and on social media, members said.

Destination Oneonta will have its annual meeting, which is free and open to the public, from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28, said Bob Brzozowski, chairman of the organization’s Downtown Design Committee and a charter member of MSO.

The meeting at Roots Brewing Co., 175 Main St., will include a demonstration of the organization’s redesigned website, plus networking opportunities, he said Wednesday.

The organization, which includes merchant, business and individual members, is pursuing internal and external changes.

Destination Oneonta has been working on a possible relocation to 2 Dietz St., where offices and a welcome center might be located, Tim Masterjohn said in an update to the Oneonta Common Council’s Finance and Administration Committee last week. The organization had 60 business members last year, he said, and hopes are to increase membership.

Destination Oneonta offices have been located in the Otsego County office building at 242 Main St. Brzozowski said a move won’t be made until budget issues are resolved.

Destination Oneonta awaits word on a request for $80,000 funding from the city of Oneonta and $10,000 from the town of Oneonta, officials said.

Last year, the city provided $60,000 in funding to MSO, plus $10,000 for a project, said Brzozowski, Seventh Ward member on the Common Council and executive director of the Greater Oneonta Historical Society.

Brzozowski said he has served as the city liaison to Destination Oneonta, for about a year, in an appointment by former Mayor Dick Miller.

Miller, who died in October, had encouraged economic development programs that considered Main Street and the city as part of a region, and Brzozowski said Destination Oneonta is following that approach.

Through its website, Brzozowski said, Destination Oneonta could be a central resource for information about hotels, restaurants and entertainment, including offering a ticket-sales service.

Brzozowski said Carolyn Lewis in her previous work with the Otsego County Economic Development Office was instrumental in formalizing Main Street Oneonta as a nonprofit organization. However, the county no longer is providing funding to the group, he said.

Destination Oneonta has potential to become a self-sufficient organization in a couple of years, Brzozowski said, and it will seek members from the city and town of Oneonta, plus beyond.

Membership in Destination Oneonta is $100 for businesses and organizations and $25 for members, officials said.

Brzozowski said MSO had four committees that focused on events; design; promotions; and economic development. Among Destination Oneonta groups are events and Downtown Design committees, he said.

The Downtown Design Committee will be working with the city on its implementation of the Community Development Block Grant of $400,000 for street-scape projects in the Main Street area. 

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