Downtown Raleigh visitors can now plan a day in Oak City with one simple download onto their smartphones or tablets.
The Downtown Raleigh Alliance, a local nonprofit that aims to promote the area, released a long-awaited app during its annual gala Thursday night.
The “Downtown Raleigh App” is meant to help guide visitors around downtown. The Raleigh City Council allotted $5,000 in summer 2014 to help launch the project, and it later gained momentum after Pepsi and ABC11 joined the project as sponsors.
“It’s free, easy to use, and is truly a one stop shop for all things downtown,” said David Diaz, president and CEO of the alliance.
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Oak City Apps, led by Eric Majewicz, developed the app. The welcome screen features portals to lists of places to dine, shop, drink and have fun, as well as an event calendar.
The “attractions” portal, for example, gives app users a list of place to hang out, such as the new Vita Vite wine bar and art gallery or Marbles Kids Museum. Users are provided addresses, operating hours and phone numbers by clicking on any destination.
The app also features a map showing where to find public parking.
The app could even be used to avoid parts of downtown altogether. It includes a list of downtown street closures that updates whenever the city issues a press release. The “street closures” app tells users which streets are closed, why they’re closed and how long they’ll be closed.
Oak City Apps made a similar app for North Hills, which is managed by Councilman Bonner Gaylord. The North Hills app has been more popular than Gaylord expected, he said. He hopes the downtown app enjoys similar success.
“It helps me pick out where I could eat that day. I use it on a regular basis,” Gaylord said. “Making downtown more user-friendly will be a wonderful thing.”