Provincetown Launching Economic Development Strategy Evaluation

PROVINCETOWN – An in-depth economic strategy evaluation is launching this fall in Provincetown.

The selectboard has prioritized developing an economic strategy that will guide the community by building on assets and opportunities to create a more sustainable year-round economic environment.

“We have a strong seasonal economy and we have expertise in one area – tourism,” said David Panagore, the Provincetown Town Manager.

“How do we either build that or build on it or whatever strengths we can draw on out here to have a more sustainable population over the winter.”

The outcome of the process will be the creation of an action plan that outlines specific next steps, along with mid- and long-term goals that the town and local organizations can implement to guide decision making related to economic growth.

To help develop an action plan the town has hired the economic development firm Camoin Associates, which has experience working with coastal New England communities from Maine to Connecticut.

“We are working with a consulting firm who has experience with resort towns,” Panagore said. “[We’ll] work with them and get some public input in mid October – a couple of public meetings and interviews – and then have them develop next steps.”

“We approach economic development in an intentional and holistic way,” said Rachel Selsky, a senior project manager with Camoin Associates.

“We are passionate about working with communities to create economic development strategic plans that are in line with and reflect the values of the residents and businesses.”

Camoin’s work will include public engagement through a community survey, public meetings and ongoing discussions with stakeholders.

Panagore has experience conducting economic development in Boston, Springfield, New Haven, Hartford and San Jose, California, and says Provincetown is much different.

“Having the experience of knowing how a tourist economy works, knowing how an economy based around its environment operates and its history is a big plus and it was for us is one of the prime reasons why we wanted to select our consultants,” Panagore said.

Panagore said it is important to use what the town has and not try to become something that it isn’t.

“Most successful economic development strategies really start from what you have and what you can build on,” he said. “Not what the other guy has and you want to take from him.”

Panagore said some challenges facing the town from an infrastructure point of view are connectivity and broadband.

The town may need to be able to focus on a strong entrepreneurial community related to the arts, along with tourism.

“There are a lot of pieces that can be looked at, but again it really begins with a hard look at what you have and what you can do truthfully with what you have,” Panagore said.

The goal is to have an economic action plan before voters at Spring town meeting.

Residents can follow the Facebook group “Town Talk: Provincetown” to stay updated on the progress being made.

The Facebook page and the town website will soon feature a link to a community survey.

The first community event to introduce the project and consultants will be held October 10.


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