Wondering where to dine, shop, or look for services in downtown Winona?
There’s an app for that.
Winona’s Main Street Program director David Bittner and Spine and Sport Physical Therapy owner Dennis McEntaffer recently released a free app called Downtown Winona that allows users to see categorized listings of downtown stores.
So next time you want to eat out somewhere different you can decide before leaving the couch. The app also features listings for stores, events, entertainment, cultural stops like the history center, services like attorneys and dentists, and more.
“The big thing is to let people know how many businesses, and not just retail stores ... that’s downtown,” McEntaffer said.
The app will be updated regularly, Bittner said. Since Bittner’s job as the Main Street coordinator is to be in contact with downtown businesses, he’s got firsthand information on the changes.
“It only take a few minutes to add things,” Bittner said.
Bittner and McEntaffer said they see the app as being a resource for not just visitors, but residents as well. Many downtown stores reside upstairs or below other stores which doesn’t give them a storefront to advertise themselves from, so residents might not even know they’re there.
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“They don’t get that exposure,” McEntaffer said.
The other helpful resource it provides residents with is a listing of events happening downtown, Bittner said. And when it comes to events like the Frozen River Film Festival or the Sweet Stroll that have multiple locations, the app will show the list, but also give directions and provide a map that users can have pop up on their screen.
As far as for visitors, the plan is to team up with local hotels, motels, and B&B’s to have them advertise the app at their location — giving newcomers a chance to instantly be exposed to what Winona has to offer.
“We especially thought visitors would benefit from it,” Bittner said.
Bittner said they’re still adding things to the app and adjusting things here and there. The majority of businesses are included, but a few — like the many small local galleries — need to be added.
“It’s still a work in progress,” Bittner said. “There’s so much going on downtown it’s crazy.”