DCI brought a technical assistance team to Silverton on October 15-16, 2012 to address a number of challenges as well as to delve deeper into the community’s potential for greater marketing, increased special events, and infrastructure improvements focusing on streetscapes. Silverton especially sought an outside perspective on their downtown’s revitalization and to receive assistance with how to organize, fund, and continue this effort sustainably through what is probably a years-long effort.
Observations commonly voiced at the focus groups included Silverton’s rich history and cultural identity, great tourist base, and lots of energetic and opinionated groups. However, there is a need to cultivate community cohesion, engage Silverton’s youth, and identify a clear brand for the community.
Recommendations from the team concentrated on developing cohesive objectives for downtown to synchronize efforts of different groups, creating a plan for leadership development and involving youth in downtown revitalization processes, and creating and implementing a plan for enhancing Kendall Mountain Recreation Center. The Kendall Mountain Recreation Center, a facility that is significantly underutilized, has the potential to be one of the best family-friendly resources to lure tourists to stay overnight.
To accomplish the recommendations the team suggested identifying a staff position to coordinate stakeholders around community objectives (potentially combining funds from town, county, school, tourism, etc). Suggestions included engaging an AmeriCorps VISTA, Best and Brightest, and Youth Core to support these downtown efforts and implementation.
Using DCI’s downtown assessment and subsequent report, Silverton hopes to build on the natural beauty and resources already present and encourage their downtown to flourish.