Our competition has shifted once again. Before we had even grown comfortable competing against cities, we find ourselves competing against the "mega-regional" economies of the Southwest and Southeast.
This is not bad news. Unlike formidable traditional competitors such as Chicago, San Diego, and Boston, St. Louis has the opportunity to create "new real estate" in the heart of our region.
Considering both sides of the Mississippi River as one, we could create an urban environment that sets us apart.Imagine being able to market conventions in the region with the most urban riverfront in the country. Imagine creating a permanent "waterfront" that puts in place the infrastructure necessary for Riversplash-type events, reducing the cost of hosting and staging them. Imagine some of downtown’s 90,000 office workers strolling along the river and Arch grounds at lunch, or sitting in new street-level restaurants in buildings facing the Arch and drinking one of those beers Charlie Brennan is always talking about. Imagine visiting St. Louis and being able to purchase Arch tickets, board a riverboat, or rent a bike in a proper ferry terminal.
Imagine having the choice of living or working along a riverfront park on the Metro East side of the river — with the best views of downtown St. Louis.