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Marietta: Live. Work. Play.

How to Save Energy and Money this Summer

Not too long ago, everyone in the Mid-Ohio Valley was complaining about the never-ending winter. Remember that weekend when we had flooding and snow at the same time? We all swore that once warmer weather came, we never would complain because we were so desperate to shed those winter coats.

Well, we all must have wished a little too hard, because after about two days of spring, we fast-forwarded right into summer, and it has been a scorcher so far! Undoubtedly you are seeing some spikes in those electric bills as you try to keep your home not only cool but also dehumidified.

We have some tips for you on how you can maximize the efficiency of your home’s cooling system. Working on even a few of these can make a difference in your pocket book, and if you are interested in lowering your impact on the environment, these work for that as well.

Mind Those Windows

Especially because so many buildings and homes in Marietta are older, it’s very important to pay special attention to your windows. A lot of energy can be released through windows, and a lot of heat and humidity can get in. Doing a test to see how much energy is seeping out of your windows can let you know how much of a problem you have. Sealing gaps and cracks, adding weather stripping, and insulating the windows all can help.

Keep the Sunshine Out

Another tip regarding your windows is to keep blinds and curtains closed during the day. Especially if your windows are on the older end of the spectrum, this little step can help block the sun and heat from warming up your home or business.

Unplug

We are not talking about turning off social media. You might not think about it, but when any electrical device is plugged in, it’s using up energy, even if it isn’t on or being used. Unplug TVs or game consoles during the day if no one is going to be around. Unplug toasters, coffee pots, stereos, and anything else that you just use once a day.

Explore the world of LED Lighting

LED light bulbs use less energy and also give off less heat than regular light bulbs. Promanco is a registered solution provider for AEP Ohio’s Energy Incentive Programs, which means we can replace your lighting system and also help you make sure you receive rebates for making that transition.

Keep Your Air Conditioner Healthy

Make sure you have your air conditioner evaluated and cleaned at least once a year. Get the filters cleaned out so it can run as effectively as possible.

Turn the Air Conditioner Off When You’re Away

Are you getting ready for your family vacation? Before you go, turn off the air conditioner as long as you don’t have animals staying in the house. It’ll be uncomfortable for a little bit when you return, but you can save a lot of energy and money in the process. Additionally, you can look into a home or business security system through Aardvark Communications & Security. Their system includes an app that allows you to set your thermostat wherever you are, so you could get your air conditioner rolling on your way home from the airport.

Have any questions? Feel free to contact us regarding your home, your office, or both!

Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rightbrainphotography/2388808601/ via Creative Commons

Merle Norman Marietta and Marietta Main Street Tag Team on Makeovers

People who stop by the Merle Norman shop in downtown Marietta are always greeted warmly. The “Merle Norman girls” are not just knowledgeable about what they do, but they are also extremely kind. A campaign the shop just got started showcases even more the kindness we are talking about.

Beginning on June 8th, Merle Norman and Marietta Main Street tag announced the start of a program called Marietta Main Street Makeovers. The campaign will run until July 31st, 2018. The idea is fairly simple on the surface. Business owners and employees downtown can schedule a makeover appointment at Merle Norman at no cost whatsoever. A “before” picture will be taken before the makeover starts, and then the “after” picture will be taken at that person’s place of business.

We said the idea is simple on the surface. The intricacy in the project is the level of cross-promotion this campaign will create downtown. Merle Norman will of course benefit from increased attention during the campaign and more people will be exposed to their products and expertise. The “after” photos that get released will not just show the make-over, but it will also show the recipient in her work environs. Through this campaign you might hear about a show you did not know was downtown, plus you’ll get to celebrate someone who took a little “me” time.

“We’ve always offered free make-overs to different groups over the years,” said Kayla Niermeyer, Manager of Merle Norman Marietta. Last July we had a “Gorgeous Grandma” campaign, and we’ve given free make-overs to nurses, teachers, and other groups. Sharon (Shaner) had the idea this year of building on the make-overs to add some downtown cross-promotion.”

There has been, it seems, an increased spirit of collaboration in Historic Marietta during 2018. The downtown community really pulled together during the flooding that plagued the area in the spring, and then The Adelphia hosted the First Settlement Festival in April, which again was based on collaborating and cross-promotion. Bar crawls coordinated by Marietta Main Street, like the upcoming Red, White and Brews Festival, also has this spirit behind it.

The reaction to the makeover campaign has been good so far. “People are excited to be able to do this, “Kayla said,

Call Merle Norman at 740.373.8519 from now until July 31st to schedule your free makeover. The session can last for as much or as little time as you have, but ideally, try to dedicate an hour to an hour-and-a-half for the process.

We are looking forward to seeing all of the “after” pictures!

Strengthening the Weakest Link

photo from the Harmar Village Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/www.HarmarVillageMariettaOhio/

A Chain Is Only As Strong As Its Weakest Link

Our blog has predominantly focused on the many positive aspects of living and working in Marietta and the Mid-Ohio Valley. There is no need for exaggeration when we talk about the benefits of living in this area. Marietta is a particularly unique small town with a long history and a tightly knit community. The surroundings really are that beautiful and the shops really are that special. Marietta is still, at the end of the day, a real town, and no town is 100% perfect. However, where problems can spell doom for some small communities, challenges simply reiterate what makes Marietta a great community.

Recently, Marietta Main Street hosted a “Clean Sweep” community clean-up event. Traditionally, this annual event has focused on the downtown area. Volunteers weed and mulch gardens, clean up trash, and do other things to spruce up the area for the summer season. The 2018 event added a new dimension. The efforts were extended to the west side of Marietta, an area called Harmar.

A Tale of Two Cities–Almost

While Marietta was founded by settlers from Massachusetts in 1788, additional pioneers moved to the western side of the Muskingum River and lived around Fort Harmar. Residents on the eastern side of the river could make it there easily, but the two settlements grew in parallel to each other as separate villages. The relationship between those on the eastern side of the river and those on the western side was uneasy, and in 1837 Harmar residents requested a separation from the Marietta residents. The two areas merged again in 1890, but there are still some feelings of rivalry and tension between “east siders” and “west siders.”

Harmar is filled with nationally registered historic sites, but it has also seen some tough times. The opioid crisis that has swept across so many states is a bit more visible in this area of town, and the residents often feel like they get lost in the shuffle.

Good Enough is Not Good Enough

While one might venture to say that a lot of towns and cities might just let this part of town fight its own battles, Marietta is doing something quite different. Spurred on by what was learned during the clean-up event, a group called Main Street West has been formed. The group, which is a kind of spin-off of Marietta Main Street, will focus on the residents of Harmar. The Marietta Times recently published a detailed article about the formation of the group and what its objectives will be moving forward.

The initiative shown in this venture reveals what makes Marietta a wonderful place to live and work. No, things are not perfect all of the time. However, when there are issues, Marietta deals with them and works to make the quality of life better. Nothing beats that.

Memorial Day in Marietta, Ohio

Ohio residents who are reading this, and readers across the country, know that this past Monday was Memorial Day. While Memorial Day is meaningful wherever you live, Marietta takes a particularly long pause to ponder all who have come before us to create the life we enjoy today.

Marietta is marking its 230th anniversary this year. One year older than the Northwest Territory itself, Marietta, Ohio was the first settlement in the new area of the now independent United States. The area was settled by Revolutionary War veterans who had served under George Washington. A party led by General Rufus Putnam arrived from Massachusetts on two ships, The Galley and The Adelphia, and Marietta (named for Marie Antoinette of France) has stood on the site ever since.

The Revolutionary War foundation on which Marietta was built is far from forgotten, whether it is Memorial Day or any other day of the year. One of the most popular landmarks in this historic area is Mound Cemetery, built around an ancient Adena burial mound. Numerous veterans are buried in the cemetery. Along with Rufus Putnam himself, there are at least 37 Revolutionary War heroes buried on these grounds. Several veterans from other wars have been laid to rest there as well.

Although the Mound Cemetery is perhaps the best-known cemetery in Marietta, it is not the only one where one can pay respects to veterans dating from the Revolutionary War and onwards. Harmar Cemetery, which is located a bit off the beaten path, is actually the oldest cemetery in the Northwest Territory. It was begun in 1796 and many founders of Marietta selected the site as their burial place.

There are less somber ways to mark Memorial Day as a resident of Marietta, too. This year there were numerous parades throughout Washington County and across the river in nearby Parkersburg. The numerous scenic paths around the area make it easy to find a spot to enjoy a family picnic or a quiet hike.

We often talk about Historic Marietta on this site, but Memorial Day is a time when we focus particularly on the roots of this small, picturesque town. Marietta was a first of firsts in many ways, and all of it was made possible by men who survived the Revolutionary War and decided they would venture out into a world that had not yet been settled by Americans.

Summer in Marietta, Ohio

Photo Courtesy Marietta CVB

According to the calendar, summer is still a few weeks away. According to the thermostat, summer is already here, and Memorial Day, which for many represents the beginning of the summer season, is less than a week away. All of this is great news for people who love the summer time, but for Marietta the time of year is particularly exciting. Although there is plenty to do in Marietta year-round, the spring and summer are when Marietta truly shines. The natural beauty of the Mid-Ohio Valley, from the woods of nearby Hocking Hills to the scenic trails lining the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers, all are readily accessible. Even more exciting is that there is a host of events that occur during the summer in Marietta that are unique and fun for the whole family. Each event possesses its own unique “persona” with its own traditions and attractions. Here is a quick run-down of some of these events coming up. This is not an exhaustive list, by the way.

Marietta Riverfront Roar: Do you love races? Marietta Riverfront Roar (starting July 6th this year) is a jam-packed festival focused on powerboat racing. There are food vendors, downtown is abuzz with excitement, and if you can find yourself a seat at the levee, you can enjoy yourself all day long.

Marietta Sweet Corn Festival: Fans of sweet corn will find this festival quite heavenly. There are lots of play areas for the kids, there is usually an antique car show for the adults, and, of course, there is tons of amazing corn to eat.

River Trails & Ales: Love beer? Love hiking, biking, and kayaking? This festival is perfect for you and the family. Take advantage of local pubs like The Galley and immerse yourself in the natural beauty Marietta offers.

Along with these annual events, Marietta is fortunate in that two queens will be visiting this summer. These queens are not people but, rather, they are riverboats right out of American history. The American Queen and the Queen of the Mississippi will be visiting Marietta as part of their respective cruises. Seeing these riverboats resting in the river as you walk downtown is truly an amazing experience that is hard to describe. The best option is to see it for yourself. You can learn more about these cruise ships here.

While Marietta is always welcoming to tourists and visitors, the value of living in a town that has so much to offer cannot be overstated. Marietta is the perfect place to grow your business and your family. Contact us today to learn more!

Marietta, Ohio, and National Preservation Month

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has set May as a month to truly go all out in focusing on preservation. They do not just want people to think about preservation during this month, but they also want people to take action towards ongoing preservation efforts. The organization has created a “31 Days of Action for Preservation” campaign in 2018, and we thought it might be helpful to tie this national campaign into our local setting here in Marietta. Preservation is certainly a commonly discussed issue in this historic town, and devoting some time to learning about and helping to preserve our historic places is not a bad way to spend one’s time, this month or any month. We won’t review all 31 calls to action, but we will detail a few of them.

Read the latest issue of Preservation Magazine

You might notice a familiar historic home in the listing section of the online edition this month.

Share photos of your favorite historic places

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is asking people to use the hashtag #thisplacematters. There are plenty of opportunities to use this hashtag right here in Marietta (you could also use the #VisitMariettaaOhio hashtag while you’re at it!). The Castle will be hosting a tour of homes May 26 & 27, and you can sign up for tours with Hidden Marietta to learn about the more haunted side of our Historic town.

Visit a historic home

Marietta is rich in historic homes, including The Castle and the Henry Fearing House. In nearby Parkersburg you can also visit The Blennerhassett Mansion and Henderson Hall.

Shop your local Main Street

Especially in a town like Marietta, where so many shops bear plaques showing what was housed in that building during the 19th century, shopping local means preserving our unique downtown as well.

Learn about the history of your neighborhood

Did George Washington camp on your street when he was surveying this area? Perhaps your neighborhood has a house that was on the Underground Railroad. Learning about the history of where you live can motivate and inspire you to help preserve it as well. There are many resources for learning about your local history, including Campus Martius, Marietta Main Street, Hidden Marietta, and The Pink Museum.

Visit a historic bar

Marietta is rich in these kinds of venues as well. We are of course partial to The Galley. You can also enjoy a show at The Adelphia and book a room in The Hackett Hotel. The entire building has a long and colorful history to explore.

One extra idea

Finally, we have one idea that is not on the list of 31 action items. Those who are seeing new homes for their business can do a great service by deciding to move into into a historic property. We can rebuild and renovate, making sure the building is prepared for a 21st-century business. Breathing life into a building that is 100 years old (or older) is the best way to preserve a small town’s history. Contact us today to learn about the historic buildings we currently have available and why they would be the perfect match for your company.

 

 

Marietta is Winning the Future of Retail

Photo courtesy Marietta Main Street

Recently, Marietta Main Street shared an article that rural marketing expert Becky McCray wrote for Main Street America. The article is titled, “The Future of Retail,” and in it, McCray tells the story of what she calls “retail’s big split.” The split goes like this according to McCray. Everybody in the world of retail, whether they are big stores or small, are being pressured to add online shopping options. Big box stores are emphasizing the convenience of online ordering (take note of Amazon’s new “we” ship to your car” campaign–how can a big box store compete with that?). There is a catch with the techno craze, however. According to McCray, people are shopping online, but they are not buying online.

The Comfort of Shopping Local and Small

The article cites a statistic noting that online sales make up less than 10% of all retail sales even though 96% of Americans polled said that they shop online. Even though such a large majority noted that they do shop online, only 65% of what they buy is bought online. The rest is bought in physical stores.

You might think, as McCray leads you to think, that big box stores would be the beneficiaries of that remaining 35%. However, physical stores have a problem. While being pressured to make the online buying experience pristine, McCray notes that the same stores are being pressured to create a “mom and pop” service feel in their stores. Here is where things get very interesting. McCray cites a study from MasterCard Spending Pulse for Small Business that notes that small retailers have grown FASTER than the big box stores steadily since 2012. The “shop local” campaign is no longer just a slogan. It has become a movement.

Helping Local Retailers Feel Big

The temptation for small towns is to try to lure those big chains into town. The logic is that these big box stores will create many

Photo courtesy Marietta Main Street

more jobs. Maybe a new parking lot needs to be developed, so construction work will increase as well. McCray notes that one of the keys for small towns is to remember that “retailers can’t do it alone.” She notes that Main Street programs, chambers, and other groups in the town need to step up and support their small local shops. Moreover, she notes that Main Street can help by bridging the gap between small retailers. Instead of nurturing a competitive environment, small town organizations need to create the concept of a shopping district where all of the small retailers combine to create something bigger than any one of them.

Where Marietta, Ohio Wins Big

When one reads McCray’s advice to small towns and small town retailers, it is apparent that Marietta is already well ahead of the game, and much of that is thanks to our own Marietta Main Street and our Chamber of Commerce. Downtown Marietta retailers are supportive of each other both online and offline. They are willing to collaborate for fun events like First Fridays, and they are willing to help each other out during tough times, like the flooding that hit during early 2018. Marietta Main Street works diligently to create this nurturing environment, and it pays dividends for everyone in the downtown district and beyond.

We are privileged to be able to help small restaurants and retailers find a home in our resurgent Historic river town. The decision to move into a downtown Marietta spot does not just guarantee you a big welcome from the community at large. Becoming a downtown restaurant or retailer makes you a part of a tightly knit, collaborative community. Marietta is bridging the gap and winning the future.

National Small Business Week 2018

Recently, we saw the image at the left posted by Clutch MOV.  Like most small towns, Marietta has its share of big box stores. We have our Wal-Mart, our Lowe’s, and chain restaurants. Marietta is wealthy, however, in the diversity and quantity of unique, small businesses that call this town home. While we all should certainly appreciate locally owned and operated businesses year-round, National Small Business Week is a particularly good time to pause and reflect on the numerous small businesses we can patronize here in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

We’ve Got Personality

Marietta certainly can claim longevity as part of its charm. The historic value of being the first settlement in the Northwest Territory will always make the area unique. However, Marietta does not rely on the past alone to establish its character. The small businesses downtown have created a collective personality that differentiates Marietta from many other small towns you might come upon in Ohio and across the country.

Perhaps the best way to experience the burgeoning personality of Historic Marietta is to see how small businesses collaborate on First Fridays. An upcoming First Friday will incorporate a “derby” downtown. Representatives from various businesses will dress up in huge suits and “race” on behalf of different causes. Another First Friday is built around businesses hosting putt-putt courses in front of their stores or restaurants. These events do not just highlight the character that makes each small business unique, but it also highlights how this network of personalities can come together to create a truly fun and vibrant downtown.

It’s Easy to Eat and Shop Local in Marietta

A lot of people feel obligated to try to shop local and eat local, but they feel like various obstacles stand in the way. You may need to go to several different stores for what’s on your list versus going to a single big box store, for example. Sometimes the known experience in a chain restaurant just seems easier than experimenting with a locally owned restaurant.

Marietta makes shopping and eating local easy. Part of the convenience is that the downtown district is easily traversed, and the variety of eateries, entertainment venues, and boutique shops within close proximity of each other also makes support local businesses in Marietta a “no-brainer.” Within a few city blocks you can access several clothing shops, a few different hair stylists, photographers, make-up and fashion stores, and antique shops. The restaurants downtown offer a surprising variety of food options for such a small area, and moving from restaurants to a few shops and then on to a new restaurant is a pretty fantastic way to spend a beautiful day downtown.

While we hope you venture to Marietta’s small businesses often, we hope you make a point of exploring all of the small businesses this town has to offer this week. As the Small Business Administration often points out, small business owners are not just “running a business.” Their lives, and often those of their family members, revolve around the health of their store, business, or restaurant. Show them some love this week and let us know what you learn.

The Three Arms of Promanco

Business owners know that it is easy to assume everyone knows the basics about your business. After all, they are the basics. You presume your customers and prospects understand all of your capabilities and offerings. They surely are familiar with your mission statement and your objectives for the future because you have all but spelled those out before. Besides, it all seems so intuitive and obvious in your own head. The reality, of course, is that people only know the facets of your business they encounter.

We got to thinking about this in regards to Promanco. People often only encounter one segment of our business, and while we assume they know that we do more, that is in reality a pretty big assumption to make. We thought we would take this opportunity to let everyone know, in broad terms, everything we can actually offer.

Property Management

Did you know that the name Promanco is derived from the words PROperty MANagement COmpany? This facet of our business is probably the most visible. We work with our tenants constantly and you also have likely seen our “for lease” signs around town. The property management arm of Promanco is responsible for finding perfect fits for our Marietta vacancies and then nurturing the relationships with our tenants so that they stay happy in their new surroundings, whether commercial or residential.

Renovation/Rebuilding

A second arm of Promanco is the capacity to renovate or rebuild properties so that they are perfectly suited for new tenants. Sometimes a rebuild occurs simply because the property is ideal but the floor plan is not. Other times, the property in question may be over a century old, and we have to bring it up to 21st-century specifications. We also take a lot of pride in how downtown Marietta looks as a whole and from building to building. We were honored to be part of the 2017 Build Up Marietta initiative, and we continue to work on projects downtown to help make spaces more aesthetically pleasing and safer. We always keep an eye towards preserving the historic integrity of the downtown district, so while we may modernize a property in terms of what it can offer a new tenant, we also strive to stay true to the charm that makes Marietta such a popular tourist destination.

Construction

Finally, we have a construction side to our business. There are a few lots available in our portfolio, and we are prepared to build on those sites when the time comes. Our construction teams have also done a lot of work throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley, including at Grand Central Mall and Marietta College.

The One Stop Shop

What does all of this mean for you? If you are seeking a new home or a new home for your business, Promanco can help you find the perfect property at the location you desire and then you can stick with us for any renovation or build-out work. There is no need to seek out separate contractors, which can be time-consuming and expensive. Moreover, our team works closely together, so by the time our construction team is ready to get to work, they already know what you are looking for and what timeline needs to be met.

Wherever you are in the process of seeking a new residence or a new place for your business to grow, give us a call today, and ask how any of our three arms can help you move forward.

Why Marietta Will Not Be The Next Glass House

106 Putnam “Before.” Photo courtesy Marietta Main Street.

Not too far back in the past, Lancaster, Ohio was not very different from Marietta, Ohio in terms of its reputation. It was a small, tight-knit town, and much of the culture of the town was based on a few core factories which employed a large percentage of the citizenry and helped fund a lot of the town’s events. Author Brian Alexander weaves the tale of this town in his book called The Glass House. Over a period of several years, the primary employer in Lancaster, Anchor-Hocking, underwent several purchases, leadership changes, and in every update, the employees suffered. As the employees of the leading company in the area began to lose their jobs, prospects for the entire town diminished. Drug use began to take a stranglehold on what was once considered one of Ohio’s best small towns in which to live.

The book is a horror story for anyone who lives in Small Town America. Lancaster is not all that far geographically from the Mid-Ohio Valley, and some of the characters Alexander writes about could easily live anywhere in the region. But

106 Putnam after our work was complete. Photo courtesy Marietta Main Street.

citizens of Marietta will see how the paths have diverged, and how we are on a road that will take us far from the dark place Lancaster found itself.

Build Up Marietta

Recently, Marietta Main Street summarized a 2017 effort called Build Up Marietta. We were very please to be able to participate in implementing this facade improvement program at 106 Putnam. Promanco has long felt that renovating, refurbishing, and maintaining Historic Marietta is one of our most rewarding jobs. The unique combination of a long history with the natural beauty that being at the confluence of two rivers provides inspires us to put our best work on display wherever we go.

The Build Up Marietta program is just one sign that the people of the area understand that a commitment needs to be made to the town in which you live. Time, money, tough decisions, and elbow grease all are invested when you are breathing business and life into buildings that are 100 years old or older. While some small towns may let old buildings and alley ways deteriorate, Marietta as a community is dedicated to beautification and preservation.

An Increasingly Vibrant Downtown

Marietta is also uniquely fortunate to have a diverse offering of eateries and entertainment venues in our downtown area. Rather than putting all eggs in one employment or cultural basket, a mistake Lancaster and other small towns have made over the years, the Marietta culture is diversified and citizens can find enjoyment at a surprisingly high number of locations. While The Adelphia Music Hall is focused primarily on promoting the local music scene and drawing crowds from across the MOV, nearby People’s Bank Theater offers music as well as plays and musicals. Within a short walking distance of both of these places are restaurants that serve everything from Mexican cuisine at Tampicos to a succulent burger at The Galley. While some small towns seem only to have a gas station at which passers-by can stop, Marietta provides a lively environment for its residents and a tantalizingly cozy and unique atmosphere that draws visitors from all over the country.

The story of Lancaster, Ohio, is indeed rife with lessons that any small town can benefit from learning. The forces that are driving Marietta forward, however, are helping Marietta maintain its status as an ideal place to work, live, and play. We are happy to be a part of that powerful force.

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