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Visit Jackson CEO and President Rickey Thigpen announced a new project aimed at beautifying the Jackson Downtown Convention and Central Business Districts during a press conference across from the Jackson Convention Center Complex on Monday, Sept. 25, 2023. Photo by Aliyah Veal

Visit Jackson Project to Enhance Downtown Convention and Central Business District 

Visit Jackson revealed a new project aimed at revitalizing and beautifying the Jackson Downtown Convention and Central Business Districts during a press conference on Monday, Sept. 25. Visit Jackson President and CEO Rickey Thigpen said the capital city needs to reflect the prowess of the state and its people.

“You see downtown is sort of like a city’s front door,” he said. “We’re proud to tell the world that Mississippi’s capital city is open for business and ready to welcome business clientele and tourists alike to the city with soul.”

The city has painted many of the sidewalks and parking meters on Farish Street between Capitol Street and the convention center along with placing banners and graphics on the sidewalk. These graphics show the route between Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, one of the host hotels for this week’s conference.

“Some landscaping has been done,” Visit Jackson Director of Communications Yolanda Clay-Moore said. “You can see that we have some stripes in the parking lot here at the Jackson Convention Complex. … There’s been some pressure washing.”

“There’s been a number of things and a huge collaboration of partners and people that have come together and ensured that we do make a good first impression for our visitors and something that our residents can take pride in,” she added.

On Farish Street between Capitol Street and the convention center, the City of Jackson has painted the sidewalks and parking meters purple while banners and graphics accentuate the sidewalks leading to the convention center. Photo by Aliyah Veal

Thigpen detailed plans and upcoming events happening in the capital city, including the Southeastern Tourism Society’s annual conference that will bring 300 attendees to downtown Jackson. The society’s delegates represent tourism-industry professionals from across the southern United States and beyond.

“Next week, we welcome the Sanderson Farms PGA Golf Championships,” the CEO said. “There are several other conferences and meetings sprinkled in there, but these are two exciting pieces of business that we worked hard to not only attract, but retain for the capital city. We want to welcome them with ‘City with Soul’ style and southern hospitality.”

Over the next two weeks, various conventions, meetings, group tours, and sporting events will visit the city and generate more than $8 million in business spending, Thigpen noted.

“The impact of this project will be a megaphone and reverberate beyond the walls of downtown Jackson,” he added.

Downtown Jackson Partners President John Gomez said the organization recognizes the importance of aesthetics to the community and welcomed the opportunity to work with Visit Jackson on this project.

“While we believe our efforts help in attracting business to downtown, we also believe our efforts show that we value our existing businesses and residents, and we want to let them know that we take pride in our neighborhood,” Gomez said.

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