Fond du Lac, WI – The Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership was recognized for its outstanding downtown revitalization efforts at the 27th Wisconsin Main Street Awards ceremony on Friday, April 27, in Ripon.
Atlas Gaming took top honors in the Best New Business Category at the event, which was hosted by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Sara Cujak, owner of Cujak’s Wine & Coffee Bar, was honored as Fond du Lac’s volunteer of the year in recognition of her eight years of dedicated service to downtown. The awards ceremony recognized the efforts by Wisconsin Main Street volunteers and staff for their historic preservation and downtown economic development efforts of communities in Wisconsin in 2017, and included highlights from their recent 48-hour makeover at Annie’s Fountain City Café.
“WEDC congratulates the Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership for their outstanding efforts to revitalize and improve downtown,” said Mark R. Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “A vibrant downtown is critical to a community’s overall economic development as well as the quality of life for its residents, and we commend downtown Fond du Lac for being among the best in the state when it comes to strengthening its downtown.”
Atlas Gaming, which specializes in tabletop gaming including manga, anime, and card games such as Magic and Pokémon, has become a second home to many in the local gaming community. Since opening Atlas Gaming at 25 N. Main St. in January of 2017, Brian Krueger and store manager Morgan Crouch have filled a need in the downtown for late night family-friendly retail and activity space.
“Atlas Gaming is an outstanding example of how bricks-and-mortar retail businesses can see great success in the ever-changing retail industry. We are proud of the achievements of our local businesses and the continued support of our volunteers, without whom we could not accomplish our organizational mission,” said Amy Hansen, executive director of the Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership.
Wisconsin Main Street is a community development program administered by WEDC that targets Wisconsin's historic commercial districts. WEDC provides technical support and training to the 33 Main Street communities to help them revitalize their business districts based on guidelines developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Since the program’s inception in 1987, Wisconsin Main Street community projects have resulted in the creation of more than 2,600 new businesses and more than 14,000 net new jobs. In addition, more than $1.7 billion in public and private investment has occurred in Wisconsin Main Street communities.
The Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership has been part of the Wisconsin Main Street Program since 2004.
For a complete list of all the 2018 Main Street award winners, visit wedc.org.
The Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing people, activity, business and a thriving civic life back to the heart of Fond du Lac. The DFP serves 214 properties with 284 businesses, 76% of which are small, locally-owned and operated.