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October 2017: Downtown as a Destination

The October 2017 Progress Breakfast celebrated "Downtown as a Destination," highlighting three tourism elements that have contributed to Downtown Syracuse's success as a cultural destination. Three guest speakers shared their Downtown Syracuse stories, highlighting their retail, sports-tourism and cuisine specialties that helped put Downtown on the map as a place where people want to be.

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Kathie Morris
The Changing Room

Vance Lederman 
Syracuse Crunch

John Stage 
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

First, Kathie Morris, owner of The Changing Room, a specialty women's boutique retail store on South Warren Street, shed light on how Downtown's retail climate complements its residential landscape. Morris, who expanded her boutique to Downtown Syracuse in 2014, is also a Downtown resident. She and her husband recently moved to Downtown Syracuse, demonstrating their belief in Downtown as a 24/7 community. 

Then, Vance Lederman, Senior Vice President of Business Operations for the Syracuse Crunch, spoke to how having an AHL hockey team right here in Downtown Syracuse helps infuse new energy into the center of our city as a sports-tourism generator. Vance, who has called this community home for 20+ years, told a humorous story of how he and Crunch owner Howard Dolgan first found themselves in snowy Syracuse, and elaborated on the many reasons why they stayed. Guests got a special behind-the-scenes look into Crunch operastions, and learned firsthand about the team's commitment to our community. Each guest received two complimentary tickets to enjoy a Crunch game during the 2017-2018 season.   

Finally, John Stage, founder of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que talked about about the early success his first restaurant achieved in Downtown Syracuse, and how the flagship restaurant helped put Syracuse on the map as a culinary destination. Guests were surprised to hear abotu the many ways the Syracuse 

restaurant continues to set an example for the ever-expanding Dinosaur Bar-B-Que empire. 

As part of this special program, all presenters were available after breakfast, giving guests an opportunity to mingle and network in a more personal setting.