We began SkyBlox to help strengthen neighborhoods by giving their businesses new tools to drive immediate foot traffic. Now that we are in over a dozen neighborhoods, we thought it was time to describe how this is actually happening in a local neighborhood.
There’s no better example than the up-and-coming east side neighborhood of Kirkwood. Like many intown neighborhoods, Kirkwood began revitalizing in the 80′s and in the last decade has created a strong downtown business hub that locals often dub “a small town in the big city,” hosting its own post office, fire station, police precinct and public library.
But Kirkwood faces an issue that many other intown neighborhood face – becoming a branded, citywide destination.
We decided to first approach John Benthal, the President of the Kirkwood Business Owners’ Association (KBOA), to gauge community interest. John owns The Mission Motif, Atlanta’s only craftsman home furnishing store, in the heart of Kirkwood Station. I met with John a month ago and described how SkyBlox can support Kirkwood and he immediately “got it.” iPhone-toters, some of the most desirable customers, love the free Wi-Fi. Kirkwood is branded across town on www.skyblox.com. And every business in Kirkwood can post for free on the Kirkwood neighborhood page.
Since then we’ve signed-up Ace’s Bar and Grill, Bo Bridgeport Brokers, Gathering Grounds, Sun in My Belly, Urban Pie & Vinocity (not to mention all the businesses posting specials & events for free). This is almost every business in Kirkwood where customers might use Wi-Fi.
This forward-thinking business association and these business owners realize that with 20,000 iPhones sold each day, Wi-Fi is a necessary amenity for their customers. And if you are providing Wi-Fi you might as well take that opportunity to communicate with your customers and let potential customers in other parts of town know about your specials & events…all the while strengthening your neighborhood as a citywide destination.
Imagine this. A coffeeshop customer in East Atlanta or a restaurant customer in Virginia-Highland have both heard of Kirkwood, but don’t really know where it is or what is there. They can now easily browse over and see everything happening in Kirkwood in real-time. And, who knows, maybe head over to see what it’s all about.
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