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More digital billboards coming to the area

By Steven Matthews - Staff Writer



Advertisers will soon have more opportunities to use digital billboards along a major area highway.

Two digital billboards are to be built along U.S. 35 in Beavercreek by the end of the year.

Digital billboards use computer-controlled screens or light arrays instead of printed paper to promote products or services.

Beavercreek City Council approved Monday night proposals by Key-Ads and Lamar Advertising to construct digital billboards. The city added the condition that the two companies use similar materials during construction to provide “aesthetic continuity.”

“Whether you like it or not, it’s the new way to do billboards, and it is consistent with what’s happening all around the country,” Mayor Vicki Giambrone said.

There are about 4,000 digital billboards in the country, according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.

The city amended its zoning code in February of last year to include digital billboards, said Jeff McGrath, the city’s planning director.

McGrath said each sign will cost roughly $700,000, and no public money will be used. Neither company would confirm the cost of its sign, nor how much revenue they expect the signs to generate.

Key-Ads will build its digital billboard near the southeast corner of the Factory Road-U.S. 35 intersection, said Nick Flora, general manager of real estate operations. Key-Ads’ goal is to have its sign go digitally live the first week of June. It will be the fifth digital billboard for Key-Ads in the Dayton area.

This digital billboard will feature two 10-by-37-foot signs that will face eastbound and westbound U.S. 35, and a 10-by-22-foot sign facing northbound Factory Road.

Key-Ads will provide the city with 150 8-second spots a day for community events and general city-related announcements.

Dave Shields, lease manager for Lamar, hopes to have his company’s digital billboard up by the end of the year within the Miami Valley Research Park along U.S. 35. It will be the 13th digital structure in the Dayton area for Lamar, Shields said.

The structure itself will be 40 feet high. The digital sign will be 10½ by 36 feet on each side. Each side will feature six advertisers on an 8-second rotation, and the city will be able to rotate any announcements on a space-available basis, Shields said.

The average daily traffic count for that stretch of U.S. 35 in 2008 was between 35,000 and 40,000 vehicles, according to the latest figures available by the Ohio Department of Transportation.

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