Burning Question

In Buzz, July 2022/August 2022 by Raleigh MagazineLeave a Comment

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A Downtown Raleigh Alliance panel is hiring an economic development expert to study different cities and make recommendations to Raleigh on the next “it” factor. So, we asked some of our city’s big thinkers to weigh in on what our city needs to attract more tourists.

What one big lure or tourist draw do you think Raleigh is missing (think the likes of Seattle’s Space Needle, Chicago’s Bean or Wrigley Field, etc.)?


“A big signature sports complex. We’re missing out on a lot of trickle-down tourism opportunities because we don’t have a sports complex that can draw in big basketball, volleyball or soccer tournaments with teams (and their families) coming here from all over the country.” 

Greg Hatem, founder and managing partner, Empire Properties & Empire Eats


“As one of the nation’s most desirable cities, Raleigh is ready for iconic public art that creates a strong sense of place and is accessible to all. Dix Park offers the perfect opportunity for monumental public art projects that will inspire residents and visitors for decades to come.” 

Marjorie Hodges, community leader; art advisor; co-founder, Artsuite 


“The ‘it’ thing we need is more transit investments. Voters approved the Wake County Transit Plan several years ago, and the city is working to begin construction on Bus Rapid Transit very soon—think ‘light rail on wheels.’  A commuter rail is also a necessity for this entire region to reduce car dependency, mitigate traffic and connect folks to jobs and opportunities.” 

Jonathan Melton, council member, at-large

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