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Wrapping up 2023 and looking ahead to 2024

The Durango Business Improvement District’s board and staff wish everyone a wonderful holiday season! We hope it is filled with friends, family, fun and lots of local shopping.

Speaking of local shopping, BID is thankful for everyone who submitted their receipts to the Holiday Rewards Program – $172,000 was generated in local spending during this promotion. Special thanks to Alpine Bank, and Eolus Bar & Dining and the Durango Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring the program. BID has now completed eight Rewards Programs since Christmas 2020. In total, these programs have produced over $1 million spent at local businesses. Wow!

Now that BID’s 2023 work for businesses in the heart of Durango is complete, we turn the page to 2024. What’s in store for the coming year? Here are some of BID’s plans:

  • BID will recruit a new board member. James Allred, current chairman of the board, will reach the end of his second three-year term in May. James will be term-limited and thus can no longer serve. Thank you, James, for the past six years of work to make BID an even better organization. Many of you know James as the owner of Eolus Bar & Dining. When you go there, typically he will greet you and will even help your server bring out your meal. He runs a tight ship at Eolus and has built a great reputation for quality. He brought the same values to BID. James, you will be missed.
  • BID will offer two Rewards Programs – one in the spring and the second at year-end. Read this column each month to learn more, or monitor our website at DowntownDurango.org and our social media pages on Facebook, Instagram and X.
  • BID will manage four events – the San Juan Brewfest (Aug. 23 and 24, tickets on sale now and make a great Christmas gift); the Downtown Balloon Glow in mid-October; Children’s Halloween on the day of Halloween; and Singing with Santa, which is always held the day after Thanksgiving.
  • BID will work with the city of Durango to understand where the business sector sales tax collections are increasing and where they are decreasing. This allows BID to tailor its marketing to specific sectors and allows businesses to benchmark themselves against the average for their sector.
  • BID will work to promote the city’s creative ideas for downtown parking. This summer, you will see free public transit, about 30 free parking spaces for downtown employees and a $5 day pass to park at the Transit Center.
  • BID will continue to advocate for downtown and North Main District businesses. One key advocacy area is around downtown’s Next Step concept. To set the record straight, no one has committed to doing anything at this point. Not the city, not BID or any other organization. BID has said the concept is worth further exploration, so that the valid concerns voiced by the downtown business community can be evaluated against more detailed plans. BID expects detailed plans to be released later in 2024.

Please contact me if you have any questions or comments about downtown or the North Main District. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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