The Las Vegas City Council today joined forces with United Way of Southern Nevada to create the Downtown Ambassador Program, which will increase the spirit of volunteerism, bring volunteers to downtown Las Vegas and raise awareness about downtown businesses.
“The Downtown Ambassador Program provides an opportunity for Las Vegas residents to get involved,” said Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman. “The spirit of the downtown thrives because of the active engagement of its residents and the tourists. Now, more than ever before as the downtown expands, as a community we need to come together and demonstrate that downtown Las Vegas is a fabulous place for excitement and to enjoy the variety of entertainment attractions. Whether it is about riding the Fremont Street Experience zipline, attending a Broadway show or going to a concert, touring our unique museums, dining in great eating establishments, or just meeting with friends to walk around, our city offers the best of experiences. This is our Vegas, and we need to participate in its ongoing successes.”
The program is based on several models around the country where volunteers provide direction and promotion of downtown businesses. A similar program has grown exponentially in Phoenix, Arizona, where “ambassadors” provide college tours, promote businesses and answer questions in the downtown area.
“There is a lot of growth and momentum downtown as businesses are moving to the area,” said Cass Palmer, United Way of Southern Nevada CEO and President. “With the increased investment in downtown, now is the time for United Way to leverage the largest volunteer force in Nevada to bring community members to beautify downtown and to serve as ambassadors who are committed to the success of the area.”
As part of the program, United Way will leverage its volunteer force to conduct at least two downtown clean-ups annually. Over a two year period, the organization will develop a comprehensive volunteer program whereby “ambassadors” provide direction and promotion to visitors and locals in the downtown area.
The Ambassador Program will be housed at the Historic Fifth Street School, in partnership with the UNLV Center for Community and Nonprofit Leadership.
The city has partnered with other organizations to better the community, including the Outside Las Vegas Foundation, which has successfully documented 2,000 hours of volunteer time and more than $75,000 donated to city trails.