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What’s next for downtown?

It is an exciting time for the Durango Business Improvement District as we roll into 2022, with many great projects underway.

Here are some details on three plans we are working on early in the year.

Downtown Durango’s Main Avenue has experienced a variety of changes over time, especially over the past two years. Downtown’s Next Step is reinvigorating community conversations regarding the future look and feel of downtown.

Next week, the public will be invited to comment about conceptual designs for downtown. These conceptual designs incorporate permanent outdoor space for business, but also try to balance the other needs and desires for our downtown. Those include safe pedestrian areas, snow removal, deliveries, emergency access, public spaces, bicycles, public transit, parking and more.

The first opportunity to comment will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in a virtual meeting. There will also be an online questionnaire available from Feb. 18 to March 4. Details about both opportunities can be found at DurangoGov.org/DowntownMain.

BID is also working on two Rewards Programs. BID’s previous Rewards Programs have produced over $400,000 in sales at local businesses. The next one will be this spring in April. Save those tax return dollars and spend some money locally. If you do, BID will reward you with a free gift card. BID will also offer a Holiday Rewards Program late this year. More information coming soon.

Another way that BID supports downtown and North Main District businesses is through events that attract visitors to town and that bring out locals. Here is the schedule for BID’s 2022 events.

  • The San Juan Brewfest is set for Aug. 26 and 27. The Brewfest benefits United Way of Southwest Colorado, and is the largest beer-tasting festival in the area. About 35 breweries and cideries will attend, and nearly 100 different beers and ciders will be available for tasting. Live music is always a part of the Brewfest, and food is available for purchase. Watch for details soon about VIP and general admission tickets at SanJuanBrewfest.com.
  • The Downtown Balloon Glow is part of the Animas Valley Balloon Rally. It offers a unique experience to be up close with the balloons and pilots in historic downtown Durango. The Downtown Balloon Glow is free to attend, and will be held Oct. 14. We are also looking at adding a second night because of how popular the event has become.
  • Children’s Halloween is on Oct. 31, and will feature safe and fun trick or treating for kids younger than 10, in costume, accompanied by an adult. About 100 businesses will hand out candy and non-candy items to the kids from 4 to 6 p.m. on the day of Halloween.
  • Singing With Santa is how downtown kicks off the holidays. It is always held the day after Thanksgiving, which is Nov. 25 this year. Singing with Santa will be sponsored by TBK Bank, and features Santa, Christmas carols, the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree, free hot chocolate and cookies, plus free photos with Santa.

I hope to see you in downtown and the North Main District soon!

Tim Walsworth is executive director of the Durango Business Improvement District. Reach him at timw@downtowndurango.org or 375-5068.