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Published: Tuesday, 1/15/2002

2 downtown groups team up, share space

CitiFest and Downtown Toledo, Inc., will share office space and staffs in an effort to save money.

The two organizations announced they will continue to have separate boards but will work together to promote and market the downtown area.

“It's a perfect match for two organizations that have common interests,” said Jim Murray, who chairs the board of Downtown Toledo, Inc.

The two organizations will be in the Toledo Edison Building, where Downtown Toledo is. CitiFest's office is housed in the Owens-Illinois underground concourse.

Jan Aguilar, executive director of CitiFest, said the organization's funds from sponsors declined last year. She said the administrative merger with Downtown Toledo will save the organization $30,000 to $40,000 a year and raises the possibility of added revenue.

“We're so excited about the possibilities of new partnerships and new events and doing more marketing for all of downtown together,” Ms. Aguilar said. The organization, which produces the Rally by the River concert series, has been in space provided by the city for 15 years.

Ms. Aguilar said the organization hopes to hire itself out as a downtown events coordinator for Downtown Toledo or other organizations. She said combining marketing and special events is how many other cities operate.

Downtown Toledo was founded as Downtown Toledo Vision in 1992. Its president, Pete Gozza, could not be reached for comment.

In a prepared statement, he said the collaboration is a step in the right direction for downtown redevelopment.

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