On March 16, 2013, Acktown sponsored three focus group workshops which took place at  the Whaling Museum. The work was conducted by The Alliance Consulting Group of Los Angeles, California.  Ian McLagan, Principal, managed the recruitment and moderated the groups.  

Three separate groups were held with year-round homeowners (including those who own additional rental properties), year-round renters (employed in varying jobs around the island) and year-round business owners.  Attendees were recruited from across the island including residents living near downtown and “way out in Siasconset”.

The 90 minute focus groups ensured that the voices of the three constituent groups were heard in an open, non-judgmental forum.  The forum included broader topics such as year-round livability as well as how the downtown could better meet their needs and become a year-round destination that they would visit more often. Attitudes towards tourism and economic development were also discussed.   


In order to include and activate the business community, ACKTOWN used a series of emails and Survey Monkey questionnaires to collect data from area merchants. A small sample responded and reported their business trends relating to seasonality, percent of revenues by visitor (day-tripper, weekender, summer resident, etc.) and recent trends. The information was helpful in setting the stage for the importance of all visitors to the economy of Nantucket.                 


ACKTOWN  implemented a contest which was promoted utilizing The Inquirer & Mirror, Mahon About Town and Business briefs, paid advertising, social media and editorial content helped build awareness and participation. Driving approximately 2,000 visitors to over four weeks, the contest looked to inform residents of our mission and availability while collecting data about the types of activities their families currently enjoy or wish to have access to in the future.  Downtown prize packages valued at over $1,000 were distributed (as provided by businesses owned by Steering Committee members).  The information collected informed our work relating to events on Nantucket and how to best service the needs of residents in the future.


Sharing the thinking and direction of the Steering Committee and ACKTOWN by participating in meetings with nonprofits and civic organizations was critical to the development of the PHASE ONE recommendation.  The work and direction changed often based on input received and was presented to and re-evaluated by the steering committee along the way.

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