ASHLAND City leaders have invited a well-known revitalization speaker to Ashland.

Roger Brooks, a speaker who has traveled across the United States speaking and helping cities revitalize their downtown areas will be in Ashland on Wednesday. He will present “Shift Happens” at the Delta Hotel by Marriott ballroom. His presentation is open for citizens. A grant given to the city by Kentucky Power will cover expenses.

“The timing is really perfect for us,” said City Manager Mike Graese. “He has statically relevant observations that we need to implement here. I think a lot of what he says will resonate deeply with the people in our community.”

Brooks will be in Ashland all week, and will be going into local shops and other vendors. He will report back after to city officials and give them feedback on how the city could improve. He plans to build a plan for Ashland that will help the city in their comprehensive plan. This plan must be done every five years. Gilmore agreed with Graese regarding the ideal timing.

“He is an engaging person, and he puts a strong emphasis on the city and the downtown,” Graese said.

Gilmore and Graese saw Brooks speak at a convention in Covington, and they both felt like he was almost talking specifically about Ashland.

“The message he gave and the things he showed fit us perfectly,” said Gilmore. “We decided to bring him in to meet with the public. He will be there (today) and Tuesday to ask questions and get a feel of the city.”

Brooks has been speaking for 35 years across 2,000 cities and towns. A few of his popular topics are:

- The 20 Ingredients of a Successful Downtown

- The Power of Public Plazas

- Marketing on a Minuscule Budget

- It's Time to Move From Events to Activities

- The Hot New Power Couple: Tourism & Downtown

- Tourism for the 21st Century

- The Seven Deadly Sins of Destination Marketing

- The Resurgence of Downtowns

“The first session is going to be a really great one,” said Gilmore. “We (Gilmore and Graese) think it’s something amazing that everyone should come to if they are interested in the revitalization of downtown. We are very excited to get him here.”

The presentation will be from 9 until 11 a.m. on 1441 Winchester Ave.

“We are committed to downtown revitalization,” said Gilmore.

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