What’s Up, Down South

11 Mar

–Tim Walsworth, Executive Director, Durango BID

durango-city

The Durango Business Improvement District (BID) is busy in early 2015. The most recent promotion we conducted was Random Acts of Kindness week. BID and Bank of Colorado teamed up for the second year in a row on this fun program for Downtown Durango.

BID and Bank of Colorado purchased 50 $10 gift cards to various retail stores in Downtown and on North Main Avenue and gave them away to Downtown shoppers during Random Acts of Kindness week, February 9 to 13. Downtown shoppers were stopped on the street and given a gift card as a Durango-style Random Act of Kindness. Thanks to all who came out and supported our local businesses!

BID is also hard at week preparing to host Downtown Colorado Inc.’s Annual Conference, set for October 6 – 9. This conference will provide an excellent spotlight on Durango local businesses and downtown organizations, with new shoppers and visitors coming from all over the state. We look forward to an excellent week this fall in Durango.

Another way BID helps Downtown and North Main Avenue businesses is through our grant program. Every year, BID awards grants to events to assist with out of area marketing costs. Giving a grant to increase an event’s out of area marketing budget helps to attract out of town guests to events, who in turn spend the night in our hotels, eat at our restaurants, and also do some shopping at our unique shops and stores. BID is currently accepting applications and has already made five grants. Events interested in applying for a grant can find the application and instructions on BID’s website at DowntownDurango.org/bid-grants.

In 2014, BID supported 18 different events with an out of area marketing grant. Collectively the 18 events were attended by just over 70,000 people. Of those, it is estimated that about 40% were from out of the area. Using an average spend of $200 per person, this means BID’s grant program helped produce $5.6 million in local spending.

To continue our effort in parking education, the BID will reprise its FREE parking giveaway program twice during 2015. In cooperation with Downtown merchants, who will take sign-ups in their stores, the BID will give away 100 parking “smart” cards at the end of April and November. The cards will be worth $20 and can be used in all meters throughout Downtown – so, in essence, that is $20 of free parking Downtown.

The BID is also exploring feasibility of an Urban Renewal Authority (URA) and/or a Downtown Development Authority (DDA) – both of which would be designed to enhance sections of town such as North Main and the riverfront, improve access to businesses and increase walkability, to name just a few ideas. The URA and DDA have different requirements and legal stipulations, but the idea is to expand the “charm” of Downtown, and, as stated, make these different areas more welcoming to visitors and locals alike. BID is working with DCI to explore how these might fit for Durango.

To keep up with all the happenings in Downtown Durango and North Main Ave., sign up for BID’s weekly E-News at DowntownDurango.org/newsletter. The E-News is published once a week and a quick read that will help you keep up to date with the heart of our community.

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