City of Covington Launches "Story Map"

The City of Covington announced the launch of its new "story map" on Wednesday.

The web-based portal offers maps, narratives, photos, and videos to promote Covington as a desirable place to live and work.

The city's economic development team worked with Planning & Development Services of Kenton County (PDS) to create the story map.

To see the story map, click HERE.

Suzann Gettys, the city's business retention & expansion specialist, said the "map" would be used to market Covington in its search for new businesses, jobs, and talent.

"This super-cool, interactive map represents just one of the many tools and platforms the City can use to tell the Covington story," said Gettys, who managed the story map project. "It also naturally ties in with several key recommendations of an economic action plan recently written for Covington by a national business consultant."

The story map includes: 

  • Video interviews with business officials from CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services, Strange Stock Art Conservation, Otto's and Frida restaurants, Smoke Justis, Duveneck Square, The Salyers Group, and UpTech Accelerator. 
  • Photos of dozens of projects and locations in Covington. 
  • Discussion of the City's urban "vibe," creative spaces, historic storefronts, and streetscape projects. 
  • Short features on small businesses like Bard's Burgers, Cutman Barbershop, The Hannaford, and Aviatra Accelerators, as well as large, ongoing developments like River Haus and the John R. Green project.
  • Descriptions of The Learning Center at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center and Innovation Alley. 
  • Features on adaptive reuse of historic buildings into joint commercial/housing development, such as Bradford on Scott, The Mutual Building, and Madison Flats. 
  • Details about tax incentives called Opportunity Zones and Covington's neighborhood competition called The Ripple Effect. 
  • Key facts (for example: the median age in Covington is 36.8, households spend $2,147 on entertainment a year, median house value is $120,342). 
  • Focus on the Roebling Point District, MainStrasse Village, Downtown, the Linden Gateway Corridor and Latonia. 

Covington Economic Development Director Tom West said the story map helped implement a key recommendation of a data-driven economic development strategy written by Atlanta-based business consultant and site selection adviser Garner Economics.

The report, which was adopted by the Covington city commission on Tuesday night, advised the department to enhance its marketing efforts in a strategic and active manner.

"Doing so will strengthen the City's position for economic development, entrepreneurship, business attraction, and talent attraction to a U.S. and international audience comprised of C-level executives, site selectors, entrepreneurs, and skilled professionals making business location decisions," the report said.

"This story map is a start," West said, "but we'll be doing a lot of things going forward."

Award

From Covington's end, a significant part of the work on the story map was done by Abbey King, a Masters of Public Administration student from Northern Kentucky University who was interning in the Economic Development Department. Largely because of that work, King was named NKU's 2019 Outstanding MPA Student.\

She now works for the city's parks & recreation division.

-Staff report