The Lamorinda Patch reports on classroom efforts made by students of Saint Mary's professor Mary Coe, who developed the Jan Term marketing course "Extreme Makeover for Downtown Moraga and Rheem."

The four-week business class asked SMC students to develop strategies to better market the town to the SMC community. By completion, teams of students were required to create business plans that suggested ways the town could improve its tax base, create more foot traffic for area shops and restaurants and change the image of a sleepy cul-de-sac village, nicknamed "BORE-aga" because of its limited appeal to SMC students, to a more inviting location where students can hang out and spend cash.

A business statistics professor at the College, Coe is on the economic development team for Moraga and says the town could benefit from new ideas. "The problem is that Moraga has a 70% leakage rate, 70% of shopping dollars goes out of town to Walnut Creek, to Lafayette, to other places," said Coe. One possible solution from the students is better use of social media marketing by local businesses. That idea seems to have paid off for Pennini's Ristorante Italiano. Patch.com reports the Moraga restaurant generated more business after it used its Facebook page to lure a large crowd of Gael fans to the restaurant to enjoy a TV broadcast of the men's basketball team taking on Gonzaga.

Click here to read the Lamorinda Patch article "Saint Mary's Kids Give Moraga the Biz; Social Media Used With Effect."

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