Preserving the real places and the real stories of Texas.

Real Places 2019: Public Engagement For Downtown Revitalization

Breakout 4D

Day/Time: Thursday, January 17, 4–5:15 p.m.
Location: Sheraton
Speakers: Sarah O’Brien, City of Bastrop and Chad Patton, Baker Hotel Development Partners

Activating community stakeholders, industry colleagues, government partners, and influencers to rally around a preservation or downtown revitalization project is essential for effective outcomes. As the two very different case studies in this session will show, sustaining support requires strategically coordinated messaging and the flexibility to incorporate bold ideas from a number of sources. Learn tactics used in the #mybastrop movement that garnered millions in social media reach and traditional media impressions as the city vied for a spot on the Hulu series, “The Small Business Revolution – Main Street.” Hear about the journey from concept to groundbreaking at the iconic Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, as renovation gets underway on this complicated, monumental preservation project.

American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) members can earn Certification Maintenance (CM) credits for this activity (or many activities at this event). When CM credits are available, they are noted at the end of an activity description. More information about AICP’s CM program can be found at

CM | 1.25


Since 2003, Sarah O’Brien has worked in rural communities honing her event planning, downtown revitalization, media relations, and community development skills. She has worked in a variety of roles in Cleburne, Nacogdoches, and Marshall, and now serves as director of Bastrop’s Hospitality and Downtown Department.


Chad Patton is a vice president and financial advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors, as well as a managing partner of the Baker Hotel Development Partners, which is planning to restore the iconic Mineral Wells hotel to its former glory. Patton has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and attended graduate school at the University of St. Francis. He is currently a city councilman for Southlake. He previously served on the executive board of the Pro Players Foundation, and is currently a member of the Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association, Tarrant County Probate Bar Association, and Southlake Executive Forum.