Input needed for City of Port Clinton Downtown Revitalization Plan


Thursday night, Oct. 3, Poggemeyer Design Group, members of the Steering Committee, business owners and residents of Port Clinton met in the City Council chambers to discuss the Revitalization Plan for downtown Port Clinton. Poggemeyer Design Group is leading an analysis of the existing conditions of the downtown area, Portage River to the north, Monroe Street to the west, the railroad on the south and Jefferson Street to the east and the Waterworks Park area. The objective is to formulate goals and a plan that can best lead the City of Port Clinton to efficiently revive and revitalize the downtown area.

The public meeting was held to collect ideas on what the downtown needs to actualize the vision projected by Poggemeyer, to lift the self-esteem of the city so all of its residents and visitors see a positive view of the community and environment. To reach this goal, Poggemeyer has made it clear that the Chamber of Commerce and the Main Street Port Clinton group need to work hand in hand. This is something that these two organizations already do. Shared between the Main Street PC and the Chamber are three full time employees who work for both organizations. Poggemeyer said this is uncommon and will only work to Port Clinton’s advantage. 

The plan for revitalization will be organized around the National Main Street Program’s Four Point Approach: design (physical environment), promotion (social environment), economic restructuring (economic environment) and organization (people and money).


Chris Boring, an analyst of Boulevard Strategies working with Poggemeyer Design Group, presented statistics about Port Clinton and the surrounding areas. The population of Ottawa County is a little over 41,000 year round residents. The population of Port Clinton is roughly 6,000, a 20% decline from the population of the city in the 1980s. Counting summer residents, May through September, the population of Port Clinton is nearly 20,000. Half of those residents are 45 years old and older. 

According to the Ohio Department of Tourism, 500,000 people a year travel on the Jet Express and Miller Ferry to go to the Lake Erie islands. People are coming to the area, which for most communities is half the battle. The community, businesses, government and citizens, need to find a way to keep the revenue in Port Clinton and not sacrifice the revenue to Sandusky, Erie County or the islands. Poggemeyer stated that their role is to help the citizens of Port Clinton find the way to the goal, but they need the help from people in the community.

What Can I Do?

Lauren Falcone of Poggemeyer said it best when she said “We are here to help you, but at the end of the day we go home to where we live. You are the ones that live here; you are the ones that work here. We need your input.” Poggemeyer, in connection with Main Street Port Clinton and the Chamber of Commerce, have put together a survey for residents to take to get an idea of what is needed and what residents want to further project a goal of where development should go. 

The best way to voice opinion is to contact the local elected officials of the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee includes: Deb Benko, City; Nicole DeFreitas, City/Business Owner; Cole Hatfield, City; Roseann Hickman, Main Street PC/Business Owner; Ernie Isaac, City; Vince Leone, City; John Madison, Business Owner; Laura Schlachter, Main Street PC/Chamber; Christie Sewell, CMP/Main Street PC; Lee Vivod, Chamber/Banker; and Missy Walker, Banker. In addition to these efforts, residents can also contact Main Street Port Clinton and the Port Clinton Chamber of Commerce office. Surveys will soon be available at those locations or online.

Main Street Port Clinton Mission Statement

Main Street Port Clinton is striving to promote, preserve and improve downtown Port Clinton as a vibrant center for business, entertainment and cultural activities for residents of the community and visitors to the area.

Main Street Port Clinton Vision Statement

Accessible by water or land, downtown Port Clinton, a popular destination on Lake Erie, is a thriving community welcoming residents and visitors alike to enjoy the unique shops, excellent restaurants, year round entertainment and cultural activities located within the beautifully restored historic downtown.

Strategic Goals developed by the Steering Committee:

1. Continue partnership with City to facilitate the achievement of collaborative vision and insure that all stakeholders have a voice and develop a brand that represents vision.
2. Enhance image of organization.
3. Executive committee will strengthen board and committees (undertake recruitment, orientations and continual education).
4. Executive committee will maintain series of policies addressing board governance, finance, fundraising, chamber relations and human resources.
5. Design committee will be strong and fully functioning.
6. Design committee will advance historic preservation and beautification of downtown.
7. E.R. committee is valued resource for information that new and existing businesses can use.
8. Promotions committee will focus on marketing downtown as destination and attraction with strong brand.
9. Promotions committee will take lead role in organizing limited number of downtown events, focusing on activities that bring customers to downtown
10. The Walleye Festival will become a regional weekend destination and kick off summer by being bigger and better with more events, vendors and entertainers.

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