Survey for Downtown Revitalization Plans Leaked

Survey for Downtown Revitalization Plans Leaked
By: CJ Cassidy

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Will some surveys leaked online affect plans to revitalize downtown Cape Girardeau?
How bad would you feel if someone spilled a secret you didn't want told? 

It happened in Cape when a random survey about downtown development got leaked early.  It's all part of a plan to get your ideas and input in revitalizing downtown Cape Girardeau.

Old Town Cape Director Marla Mills says those surveys are just one of many ways they're trying to figure out what people want to see changed downtown.
They also used focus groups.
Still, Mills hadn't planned on making all the questions public until Friday, after the cut off date for mailing back the random surveys had passed.
So, when it showed up on a local Web site, she was surprised.
In fact, one blogger encourages people to go online and fill it out.
"It will have a minimal impact on the results we get from the total survey," Mills said.

She says she's not worried about it.  She eventually hopes to pass on some of those ideas to business owners.

"Ideas like, what will tourism support, and what do we need to bring in," she explained.

Michael Hess owns the downtown bar Breakaways.  He says he's already doing his part to renovate downtown.  He wants to make his building look like it did, when it was built more than one hundred years ago.

"I'm old school, and I like the way old things look," Hess said.

He's not the only one.  Phil Brinson owns the former Esquire Theater on Broadway and plans on renovating that building soon.

He says he wanted to wait until the time was right, and all the other buildings around his weren't vacant.
Brinson doesn't know exactly what he'll do with the building, but Marla Mills says the focus groups came up with plenty of suggestions.
"Renting old movies, documentaries, maybe a piano bar and retain the outside of the theater," Mills said.