Downtown Frankfort Consumer Market Study

A consumer market study was commissioned in 2016 to explore current consumer trends relating to demographics, purchasing habits, and customer expectations and desires. DFI expects that this information can help:

A goal of 200 respondents was set to provide an adequate representation of responses.  Within the 3 weeks that the survey was being run, we had over 1000 respondents.  According to the company that did the study, this high level of response helps to confirm the validity of the information gathered. The Commonwealth of Kentucky Finance Cabinet also requested to participated in the survey, and about half of the respondents were state government employees.


As Frankfort consumers, our desires tend to be pretty conventional, whether it be our dining habits, our shopping preferences, or the type housing we prefer. Our favorite restaurants are American style, pizza and Mexican, our favorite shops are those that have been around for a long time, and our favorite homes are traditional style.

We want more restaurants downtown, generally steakhouses and family-oriented dining. Our business tends to be more lunch oriented than the national average.

The desires for additional shopping options have to do with people living downtown, those wanting to have as many basic services nearby as possible, particularly Millennials.

The choice of living downtown seems to show lifestyle changes over time – increasing family size and a desire for a yard are the biggest reasons why people choose not to live downtown.  Living downtown is most attractive to younger age group.  Even though some don’t want to live there, we generally like our downtown; we would like to work there, and we tell others about it, and highly recommend a visit here.

Generally, for Frankfort to grow, people want more events and more restaurants, and Millennials want more nightlife.  The major barriers to growth are the lack of evening and Sunday hours, particularly among Millennials.  Parking issues are noted, but the study shows somewhat conflicting results; many feel that our parking situation is something of a barrier to growth, but it is considerably less of a problem to outsiders than to us.

People feel that a wider range of businesses would be a growth stimulator, but most respondents were not interested in starting their own business. Millennials are the most interested age group, but they recognize they need some help in navigating through licensing and regulations, business planning, and infrastructural challenges.

Consumer Market Study Data

The raw data and highlights of the results are available through the links below. The Executive Summary was prepared by Dr. Brian Houillion, a city planner and economic development specialist who now serves on the DFI Economic Revitalization Committeee. His analysis and interpretation makes it more user-friendly for an individual business to refine their target market and subsequent marketing plans, as well as for local government and development agencies and organizations to make better use of it as they seek to further develop our historic downtown area.

Downtown Frankfort Consumer Market Study – raw data   

Downtown Frankfort Consumer Market Study – preliminary presentation of results   

Downtown Frankfort Consumer Market Study Executive Summary