Title: St. Augustine Historic District Strategic Plan Steering Committee meeting report
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091502/00003
 Material Information
Title: St. Augustine Historic District Strategic Plan Steering Committee meeting report
Uniform Title: St. Augustine Historic District Strategic Plan Steering Committee meeting report
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Creator: Facilities Planning and Construction, University of Florida
Publisher: Facilities Planning and Construction, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: July 14, 2008
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00091502
Volume ID: VID00003
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Meeting Report: July 14, 2008

St. Augustine Historic District Strategic Plan Steering Committee
4:00 PM-5:30 PM
St. Paul AME Church, 85 Martin Luther King Avenue, St. Augustine


Members present:

Members absent:

Others present:
Eric Johnson
Jill Ziebell
Dan Sullivan
Toni Wallace
Hal Holton

Glen Hastings
Michael Gannon

Tracy Upchurch
Chris Silver

Linda Dixon
Tom Caswell
Nancy Sikes-Kline
Gale Burnick
Matthew Kear
Steven Martin

John Regan
Roy Graham

Gordon Wilson

Carol Walker
Dwight Hines
Jess Childre
Robert M. Hall
Dalonja Duncan
Harold Barrand

Roy Hunt
Ed Poppell

Kathy Deagan

Claude Armstrong
Pete Roman
John Johnson
Gudrum G. Hall
Leslee Keys

I. Welcome and Introductions- Vice President Ed Poppell welcomed attendees.
Committee and audience members introduced themselves.

II. Review Meeting Report, June 24, 2008 -The meeting report was distributed for review.

III. Project Status Report -
a. Consultant Selection. Linda Dixon announced that the Consultant Selection
Committee completed the interview phase of the selection process earlier in the
day. Their recommendation will now go to Vice President Ed Poppell for approval.
The Consultant Selection Committee selected RS&H from Jacksonville as the top
ranked firm. The second-ranked firm was John Cullinane and Associates from
Annapolis, MD; followed by Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas Company from Tampa; IBI
Group Inc. from Maitland; and PBS&J from Atlanta, GA.

St. Augustine Historic District Strategic Plan Steering Committee
Meeting Report: July 14, 2008

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b. Scope of Work. Committee members were asked to discuss their expectations for
the consultant's Scope of Work.
Purpose and Outcome. Specifically, they were asked to comment on their perceived
purpose and successful outcomes of the Strategic Plan. Roy Hunt suggested that the
Strategic Plan should be a broad mandate providing a framework for decision-
making. Ed Poppell expects the Plan to be objective, neutral and visionary. The Plan
should take information and deliver it in a focused framework describing a vision for
a destination City and the "home run" action that will help bring about this vision.
John Regan hopes that the Plan will bring community cohesiveness around the
vision. Glenn Hastings would like the Plan to provide a legacy framework for making
St. Augustine an international destination site. Mike Gannon reminded members
that the educational component is the key to the vision.

UF Engagement. Members also elaborated on how best to engage the UF
community. Roy Graham suggested that there need to be more meetings with
stakeholders in Gainesville and that the UF Technical Work Group needs to be
expanded to include additional disciplines. Glenn Hastings noted that there is
already collaboration in tourism research and with the School of Drama to produce a
theater festival in St. Augustine. Roy Hunt suggested that the Deans should be
provided with an update on the St. Augustine collaboration and a request for
program ideas. Ed Poppell reminded members that the limited time and resources
should focus on defining the vision, then work out the details of tactical
implementation later.

Performance Indicators. When asked about performance indicators and
benchmarks, John Regan noted that there are good statistics on visitor numbers and
tourist-related sales. Glenn Hastings said that the economic models exist and one of
the measures is reinvestment. Roy Graham offered that benchmarks should include
increased opportunities for students, increased enrollment in related programs,
potentially joint programs or degrees with Flagler College, conferences held in St.
Augustine, and Student Contact Hours in St. Augustine. Legislative funding was also
seen by the committee as an important performance indicator.

Public Involvement and Education. A question about ongoing public involvement
prompted the following responses.

St. Augustine Historic District Strategic Plan Steering Committee Page 2 of 5
Meeting Report: July 14, 2008

The 450th Anniversary celebration was cited as an opportunity to raise awareness
and get the legislature interested. Ed Poppell noted that it is up to each agency's
lobbyists to keep this issue in front of the legislature.
Document the process for public educational purposes. Even in building
renovations, salvage all pieces as the restoration is taking place.
Consider doing a press release once the consultant contract is executed. Ed
Poppell agreed to contact Margo Pope at that time.
Provide training for the interpreters who work in the various historic venues. Bill
Adams noted that there is a tour guide licensing process and manual provided by
the City through its Finance Department. Committee members agreed that they
would like to see these materials.
Outreach and education for the people of the City is important.
One member asked about the distinction between the Strategic Plan and the
Heritage Tourism Study done by the National Historic Trust. This prompted a
discussion of the state-owned buildings and the need for them to be self-

IV. Visioning for Historic St. Augustine Committee members reviewed the Meeting
Report and Visioning Summary from June 24, 2008.

Signature Facilities. Linda Dixon asked members to elaborate on their ideas regarding
signature facilities. Roy Hunt said that Government House is vital along with other
contributing structures. Ed Poppell stated the Fort is the most visited facility. Roy
Graham noted that signature facility identification is an important part of the
consultant's work.

Visitor Profile. Members were also asked to clarify their thoughts on targeted changes
to the visitor profile. Glenn Hastings stated that the focus should be on visitor yield, not
just the number of visitors. The visitor profile should be less seasonal and more year-
round. He noted that the City has a limited carrying capacity, and that if the area is too
crowded, the experience will be less enjoyable. As the community grows, new
development could go higher and denser, but that is not likely. Therefore, the visitor
yield must change, and the community needs to understand the implications of this
strategy. For example, discussions of increasing international tourism often focus on
pride in Spanish heritage; however the City has only one Spanish restaurant. There

St. Augustine Historic District Strategic Plan Steering Committee Page 3 of 5
Meeting Report: July 14, 2008

should be more focus on visitor accommodation, for example, keeping restaurants and
retail open later.

V. Next Steps Members discussed their next meeting date and agreed to check calendars
for dates in the last three weeks of August. Linda Dixon will email draft consensus
statements for the committee to review prior to that meeting. Committee members
stated they are generally pleased with the direction the project is taking and look
forward to this fresh, new approach.

VI. Other Business -

Statewide Tourist Development Plan. Glenn Hastings reported that a statewide tourist
development plan is underway in preparation of a 2013 statewide celebration. The
report is due in September 2008 from the Governor's Office of Tourism, Trade and
Economic Development.

St. Augustine 450th Anniversary. Members also discussed the 450th Anniversary effort
and how that coordinates with the Strategic Plan. Glenn Hastings suggested that the
Strategic Plan effort should be cognizant of the 450th Anniversary effort and deadline,
but should not make this a major component of the Plan. He said the Destination
Master Plan will address the 450th Anniversary as a heritage tourism subset. Mike
Gannon noted the 2013 Anniversary of Ponce de Leon's voyage as another important
milestone. Ed Poppell suggested that these commemorations should be used as
leverage to persuade decision-makers and direct funding to St. Augustine.

Public Comment Ed Poppell opened the meeting to public comment, and received the
following responses.
One member of the audience wanted to know what the benefit will be for the
general public (e.g. increased employment, increased property values).
Several citizens were concerned about the condition of the state-owned
buildings. The consultant effort should focus on the building restoration and
balance the amount of effort spent on the state-owned buildings v. tourism.
The educational goals are important, but the buildings need to be addressed.
Heritage tourism is primarily the responsibility of the City. Is UF going into the
heritage tourism business, and what are the implications of this for the City's

St. Augustine Historic District Strategic Plan Steering Committee Page 4 of 5
Meeting Report: July 14, 2008

budget allocation? The City has a budget for heritage tourism, but this does not
generate revenue to address the restoration needs of the state-owned buildings.
There was a concern that the tour guide licensing is inadequate.
The study should address landscapes, native plants and the plants that would
have been brought to America by early settlers.
The community has not really been educated about the historic building
Tourists do not get adequate information about the area, and many of them
make short trips rather than staying overnight and visiting more attractions. On
1-95 from the north, there are three places that announce they are "the" place to
go for the St. Augustine visitor center. From the south, 1-95 travelers do not get
much information about St. Augustine.

VII. Closing Comments and Adjourn Vice President Ed Poppell closed the meeting by
thanking the participants.

St. Augustine Historic District Strategic Plan Steering Committee
Meeting Report: July 14, 2008

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