Lake Wales Main Street is a local, private partnership organized in 1987. In the past it was partially funded by the City of Lake Wales. Currently, we rely on memberships, sponsorships, grants and donations.
Lake Wales Main Street is recognized as one of Florida’s first Main Street programs. Today, it continues the mission of making Downtown Lake Wales an historical site destination for everyday business, shopping and leisure activities. The program utilizes National Main Street’s proven four-point method called the “Main Street Approach.” This method offers a move toward downtown revitalization that has been successful in more than one thousand towns and cities throughout the country.
Mission Statement & Vision
“Giving People a Vibrant Downtown Experience”
Our Mission Statement for historic downtown Lake Wales is to preserve and enhance the historic charm and integrity of our community, while encouraging local spending, tourism, and a sense of community, which will improve the local economy. Our Historic downtown is a safe, clean, and friendly district with diverse, prosperous businesses contributing to a vibrant small-town atmosphere while providing goods, services, and a cultural environment that satisfy the interests and needs of residents and visitors.
“Main Street Lake Wales aspires to be synonymous with community, providing an inclusive and vibrant destination that preserves our rich history and supports a dynamic future.”
The Vision of Main Street Lake Wales is to ensure community self-reliance and the revitalization of the historical downtown business district through economic development, and within the context of historic architecture and preservation, a pedestrian friendly environment, a celebration of the arts, and local ownership, create a thriving and unique retail center in the historic downtown area, once prominent in our community.
Main Street Four Point Approach
Main Street Lake Wales has set out to meet our objective by implementation of the Main Street Organization’s proven strategy called the Four-Point Approach. The Four Point Approach is a comprehensive strategy tailored to meet local needs and opportunities. It encompasses work in four distinct areas. These areas include:
- Design – getting Main Street into top physical shape, capitalizing on its best assets such as historic buildings and pedestrian-oriented streets.
- Economic Restructuring – strengthening a community’s existing economic assets while expanding and diversifying its economic base.
- Promotion – selling a positive image of the commercial district and encouraging consumers and investors to live, work, shop, play and invest in the Main Street district.
- Organization – getting everyone working toward the same goal and assembling the appropriate human and financial resources to implement a Main Street revitalization program.
These areas combined, are set up to address all of the commercial district’s needs. The philosophy behind this methodology makes it an effective tool for community-based, grassroots revitalization efforts.
The Main Street Board of Directors is made up of local business owners, property owners and community leaders that are dedicated to the mission of making downtown Lake Wales the vibrant heart of the city. The Board sets the goals and evaluates the mission and values of the organization.
Lake Wales Main Street 2014-2015 Board of Directors
- Charlene Bennett AAUW
- Larry Bossarte Coldwell Banker Commercial
- Robin Gibson Gibson Law Firm
- Lisa Pedersen The Gallery and Frame Shop
- Rusty Ingley Bunting, Tripp, and Ingley
- Jean Donaldson Lake Wales Arts Council
- Kristie Reed Center State Bank
- John Walldorf John Walldorf Massage Therapy