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Downtown Ambassadors and a San Juan Brewfest update

Durango Business Improvement District started its Downtown Ambassador Program in summer 2016. Over the past six years, the program has become an integral part of BID’s work for downtown businesses every summer.

BID’s Ambassadors started working daily shifts this year over Memorial Day weekend, and will continue through the end of September. This year’s crew – Lynn, Joanne, Karen, Kelly, Mary Ellen, Melanie and Yvonne – are an amazing team.

Ambassadors roam around downtown and are also stationed outside the railroad depot on weekends. Their job is to help anyone, a local or a visitor, find what they are seeking. They provide maps and directions, referrals for shopping and dining, information about hiking and outdoor activities and more. Ambassadors are ready to help both locals and visitors find what they are seeking.

The Ambassador Program is funded primarily by BID, but it is also supported by the city of Durango and by the Durango Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association. The support from these two organizations allowed the program to expand to 1,000 total hours this year. BID also thanks Noah Arvidson, owner of Animas Craft Woodworks, for building a cart that is used for shifts outside the Railroad Depot.

From Memorial Day weekend through the end of June, Ambassadors worked a total of 258 hours. 150 hours were walking shifts, and 108 were shifts outside the railroad depot. BID Ambassadors recorded just over 2,600 interactions with individuals or groups of people during this timeframe. An interaction is defined as when some type of assistance is offered and received. This means the Ambassadors helped people downtown 10 times every hour they were on shift, or once every six minutes.

I am very proud of this program. Tanya Clegg, BID’s Director of Marketing and Communications, deserves a ton of credit for taking a good program and making it great. Look for the Ambassadors when you are downtown, they wear bright red uniforms and are ready to help.

• • •

BID manages the San Juan Brewfest event for United Way of Southwest Colorado. 2021 marks the 22nd year of the Brewfest, and it has become a huge fundraiser for our local United Way and creates a positive economic impact for our area at the tail end of summer. This year’s San Juan Brewfest is presented by Bank of the San Juans.

This year, the Brewfest is a two-day event, with only 1,000 tickets sold each day. Day One (Aug. 28) is sold out, but there are plenty of tickets available for Day Two (Aug. 29). Both days feature up to 30 breweries, which collectively will have almost 100 different craft beers to taste. Both days feature live music. Saturday’s headliner is the Afrobeatniks, and Sunday’s headliner is DJ-Calvin. Both days are opened by Profetic Calaveras. The Brewfest is held at Buckley Park.

Tickets and event details can be found at SanJuanBrewfest.com.

To stay up to date with all of BID’s activities for businesses in the heart of our town, sign up for our weekly e-newsletter. Visit our website at DowntownDurango.org, scroll to the bottom of the home page, and click on the "sign me up“ button.

Tim Walsworth is executive director of the Durango Business Improvement District. Contact him at timw@downtowndurango.org.