Client: Downtown Management Corporation, Santa Cruz
In February of 2014, Civinomics conducted a survey of business owners and managers in downtown Santa Cruz regarding the Hospitality Host Program. Hospitality Hosts are city representatives who provide assistance to visitors and act as an initial line of response in dealing with antisocial behavior. The program is run by the Downtown Management Corporation, an organization funded by downtown Santa Cruz business and property owners. The survey was commissioned to assess the program’s effectiveness and gather feedback from businesses about additional services the DMC could provide.
The study found that, indeed, the program has been effective at making downtown safer and resolving anti-social behavior. Of the business and property owners interviewed, 74 percent stated that the program was somewhat to very effective at “addressing and resolving anti-social behavior.”
When asked what should be the DMC’s top priority, 37 percent answered “security”, 34 percent answered “making downtown more inviting” and 12 percent said “visitor assistance and resources.” In terms of additional services the DMC is considering, 28 percent of those interviewed stated that the “quick removal and cleaning of human or animal waste” was the service they would most like to see implemented. 23 percent answered that they would like see “general cleaning and maintenance” and 20 percent wanted to see extended host program hours.
In terms of improving safety, 51 percent of respondents said that they would like to see a greater police presence downtown and 35 percent said that they would like to have security cameras.
The survey found that the downtown hosts were also highly visible and approachable. 77 percent of those surveyed said that they see a host at least once a day, and 52 percent stated that they see a host multiple times a day. 81 percent answered that the hosts were “very approachable.”
The survey was conducted over the course of 6 business days, from February 20th to February 26th, via targeted iPad interviews with a focus on business owners and managers. Of those surveyed, 54 percent self identified as a manager and 29 percent as business owners. The types of business surveyed included retail (45%), food and drink (25%), and professional services (16%).