Main Street Program / Downtown Development Authority

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Downtown Development Authority and Main Street Program is to stimulate and sustain economic development in Downtown Dahlonega by encouraging cooperation and building leadership; by
advancing a positive image of downtown and promoting it as an exciting place to live, shop, and invest; by sustaining and improving the appearance of downtown; and by strengthening and expanding the economic base of downtown.

Vision Statement

Downtown Dahlonega will retain its role as the heart of the region and the center for community and economic development. It will have an inviting appearance, highlighted by historic architecture. It will enhance the civic, cultural, and economic vitality of the entire community.

Downtown Dahlonega will be a strong center for business and an entertainment and learning destination with:

  • A clean, well-lighted and inviting appearance day and night
  • Attractive storefronts occupied with a variety of appealing retail and service businesses
  • Activities that will attract and benefit areas residents, visitors, industry, and the university community
  • Historic architecture that offers visual unity and a quality experience in history and culture
  • Unified retail and service businesses with a reputation for teamwork and customer service
  • A reputation as a creative and lively center where people will shop, enjoy, remember, and return

Downtown Development Authorities (DDA) and their appointed boards are created to revitalize and redevelop the central business districts of cities in Georgia.

DDAs have a range of powers:

  • developing and promoting downtowns
  • making long-range plans or proposals for downtowns
  • financing (by loan, grant, lease, borrow or otherwise) projects for the public good
  • executing contracts and agreements
  • purchasing, leasing and selling property

The members of the Dahlonega Downtown Development Authority Board of Directors are:

  • Amy Thrailkill, Chairman
  • Joel Cordle, Vice Chairman
  • Donna Logan
  • Tony Owens
  • Wendy Huguley
  • Ryan Puckett
  • AC Moore

Much more information about the Dahlonega Downtown Development Authority and Main Street Program can be found at our website,


Each year, the National Main Street Center recognizes exceptional Main Street communities whose successes serve as a model for comprehensive, preservation-based commercial district revitalization with the Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA). Since the award’s inception in 1995, over 90 Main Street programs have been honored. In 2016, Dahlonega was recognized as a Great American Main Street Award Winner.


Georgia’s Exceptional Main Street communities, better known as GEMS, represent some of the best of the best Main Street Programs that the state has to offer. These Main Street Programs have gone above and beyond expectations by making a strong and positive impact in their communities as measured by the Monthly Reporting and the Annual Assessment Process. Dahlonega is designated as a GEMS City.


Main Street is economic development within the context of historic preservation using a comprehensive approach to downtown revitalization.


The Main Street Approach is centered around Transformation Strategies. A Transformation Strategy articulates a focused, deliberate path to revitalizing or strengthening the economy of our downtown. These
Strategies are informed by a solid understanding of local and regional market data, local assets, and inclusive community engagement. Dahlonega Main Street’s work on Transformation Strategies is organized around the Four Point Approach: Organization, Design, Economic Vitality, and Promotion.


ORGANIZATION – Creating a strong foundation for a sustainable revitalization effort including cultivating partnerships, community involvement, and downtown resources.

DESIGN – Creating an inviting and inclusive atmosphere. Celebrating historic character. Fostering accessible people-centered public spaces.

ECONOMIC VITALITY – Building a diverse economic base by catalyzing smart new development while supporting the existing business fabric. Creating a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and innovators that drive local economies.

PROMOTION – Positions the downtown as the center of the community and the hub of economic activity while creating a positive image that showcases Dahlonega’s unique characteristics.

Department Contacts

Mary Csukas
Director of DDA
Ariel Alexander
Main Street Manager

Ariel grew up in Dahlonega, attending middle and high school in the Lumpkin County School system. She attended the University of North Georgia to study Political Science and Law and is now pursuing a degree in English with a Writing and Publication Concentration. Her professional training includes the Main Street 101 Certification, Downtown Development Authority Basic Training Certification, Georgia Department of Community Affairs Strategic Planning Workshop, University of Georgia Introductory Grant Writing Course, and University of North Georgia Continuing Education Social Media Course. She has worked downtown with business owners and community organizations since January 2021.

Skyler Alexander
Programs Coordinator


City of Dahlonega, Georgia Classification
Downtown Parking Map
Application for Appointment to Board, Commission or Committee