Located in Mesa County, off Interstate 70 at exit 19, Fruita is energized by the Colorado River and its breathtaking surroundings and highlighted by the Colorado National Monument. Fruita is a quirky town with a lot of great assets, and have made progress over the past 15 years toward improving and growing their downtown. From its diverse economic base and world-class sports and leisure activities to its bountiful fields of agricultural crops, Fruita’s offerings are abundant.
DCI brought a technical assistance team to Fruita on August 20-21, 2012 to complete a downtown assessment. Upon arrival in the community, team members were given a presentation on the history of downtown and toured the town. Afterward, the team met with the city staff for lunch, and then held four well-attended focus group sessions with community stakeholders and interested citizens.
Common observations gave team members an overwhelming impression that all residents are extremely passionate about their downtown and love to call Fruita home! Residents enjoy the small-town feeling, and seeing familiar faces downtown, and value new residents, and the fresh ideas and energy that young families bring to the community.
Recommendations from the technical assistance team included defining the downtown area, re-evaluating the shop local campaigns, and promoting tourist attractions in Fruita regionally.
To accomplish the recommendations, the team presented the need to have a full-time or part-time staffperson or director dedicated to the improvement of the downtown business district. Having staff focused on these efforts helps to create a focused vision for promotional activities and coordinating volunteer efforts. A number of downtown organizations in Colorado have utilized the AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) to provide a full-time staff at a low cost.
Using DCI’s technical assistance assessment and subsequent report, Fruita hopes to leverage their assets to encourage their downtown business district to flourish.
Interested in DCI’s technical assistance program? Visit www.downtowncoloradoinc.org for details or contact us at 303.282.0625.