• 02/01/2021 8:08 AM | Stephanie Owens (Administrator)

    On Monday, January 18th, 2021 the Downtown Capacity Builder’s DCI VISTA team participated in MLK service day as “A Day On, Not a Day Off,” in a virtual capacity with VISTAs from Community Resource Center (CRC) and Colorado Nonprofit Development Center (CNDC). The day included digital transcription for History Colorado, with an option from three varying projects. The three projects included Out of the Archives, Colorado Women’s Suffrage, and medical advertisements.

    The DCI VISTA team committed to 2 hours of digital transcription, which was then followed by a service day reflection event which had a turnout of 14 VISTAs from the varying VISTA teams, with 6 of the attendees being from DCI’s team. 

    The service reflection event included introductions, and then we watched some Martin Luther King videos together. The two videos included Rare Video Footage of Historic 1965 Marches and NBC Interview: MLK Talks New Phase of Civil Rights Struggle  . Following the viewing of the videos we went into three breakout rooms which included 

    • Ice breaker/ get to know each other Room
      Name, VISTA position, what have you been filling your time with during the pandemic, what is one of your passions

    • What was your biggest takeaway from the MLK videos you watched?

    • What is one of the most impactful legacies MLK has left on our society, and how do his teachings apply to today’s world?

    The breakout rooms encouraged conversation, increased participation and sharing of ideas. Some of the major takeaways from reflection on the MLK videos was the way in which MLK’s points made in 1967 that needed to change and topics that needed to be addressed, are topics that still need to be addressed today. Many of the topics that need to be addressed have been further highlighted, and more people became aware of through the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Following the breakout rooms, the VISTAs reconvened and completed a short service day survey, with feedback from the day and written reflection on why one chooses to serve.

    What was the most impactful part of your day of service?

    I really enjoyed talking with other vistas about social justice and how we can continue forward with our own commitments to building capacity and eliminating poverty. As a historian, I really love that part of our service was transcribing materials because it truly helps historical work and it makes historical information more accessible for all.”

    Listening to MLK speak in the videos - not only is he a master of language, the themes and messages still apply today.”

    “Watching the MLK Jr. interview and reflecting on it was most impactful - a lot of what he said connects directly to what we are seeing and living through now.”

    Why do you serve?

    I serve because there is so much important work found within the non-profits of the U.S. I'm proud to complete a year of service for my organization.” 

    “To serve the community and make a direct impact to those who live in the community.”

    I serve because I want to make education more just and equitable for all in this country. In a lot of ways, education is liberation and I truly hope that I can help to make education more accessible and equitable.”

    The Downtown Capacity Builder’s DCI VISTA team, who commit to a year of service, were happy to participate in the MLK day of service, with people across Colorado and across the United States. MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

  • 01/28/2021 12:54 PM | Morgan Pierce (Administrator)

    On Monday, January 25th Governor Jared Polis and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) hosted a Support For Colorado Small Businesses meeting to share the current and future federal and state resources available to small businesses. We heard from theSmall Business Administration about PPP funds, shuttered venues operating grants, and economic injury disaster loans. We also heard from theDepartment of Local Affairs regarding their state small business relief program and from Colorado Small Business Development Center regarding their COVID relief technical assistance program.

    Small Business Administration Federal Relief Programs

    • SBA Core Program Temporary Incentives 

    • SBA Debt Relief Continuation

    • Economic Inquiry Disaster Loan (EIDL) Programs

    • Shuttered Venues Operator Grant

    • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

    Click here to visit the Small Business Administration COVID relief website 

    State Small Business Relief Program - Department of Local Affairs (DOLA)

    • Businesses in 32 counties are eligible based on COVID restrictions

    • Restaurants, Bars, Caterers, Movie Theaters and Gyms/Recreation Centers are eligible

    • Businesses must be headquartered in Colorado with at least one employee

    • Show a 20% decline in revenue due to capacity restrictions

    • These funds are grants that are not expected to be repaid

      • Businesses that have revenue less than $500,000 = eligible for $3,500 in grant money

      • Businesses that have revenue between $500,000 & 1 million = eligible for $5,000 in grant money

      • Businesses that have revenue between 1 million and 2.5 million = eligible for $7,000 in grant money

    • Apply directly to your local government 

    Click here to visit the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) website

    Colorado Small Business Development Center 

    • 15 centers located across Colorado

    • They offer services in many different languages

    • Free COVID relief technical assistance

      • Virtual consulting and workshops

      • Business assessments

      • Technical assistance for federal and state COVID relief loan and grant applications

    Click here to visit the Colorado Small Business Development Center website

    Watch the video recording here!

  • 12/22/2020 1:45 PM | Kylie Brown (Administrator)

    2020. There’s nothing that I could write to open this that you haven’t heard or could even sum up this year. First, we want to say that we hope no matter what you have been through this year, that you are healthy. Next, we would like to especially thank all of our members, sponsors, and partners for making our work possible. This year has been very different but we have been so blessed to work with you all virtually and from a distance. Despite the disruption of the pandemic, we have had a busy and fun year working from our kitchen tables, armchairs, and make-shift standing desks. 2020 has inspired us in many ways: the return to the local, the power of partnership, and the opportunities of disruption. 

    Believe it or not, we were once able to gather for events in-person. So, in the beginning of the year we gathered to discuss the enduring challenges of small-scale development in the face of rising property taxes/rents, increasing costs for small business, high construction costs and a regulatory framework that does not support the vision. The goal of this event was to start a wave of development possibilities that protect and enable small business and property owners to stay put, grow, and thrive! While challenges have grown for small business and property owners this year, there was one win this year that will make doing business in the future just a little easier. That win is, of course, the repeal of the Gallagher Amendment. DCI partnered with EDCC to put on a month of Gallagher education this year to advocate for education and spur informed action around this complicated amendment and the effects it has had on our businesses, special districts, and cities.

    Early in the year, we were also in the full throws of planning our annual IN THE GAME event and very excited to be in Colorado Springs this year. With all the uncertainty of what would occur next, we found that we still needed to show that there was a certain freedom to dream and share ideas because no one knew for certain where we would be in a few months. We created the 2020 Virtual COVID Challenge Summit in order to do just this. We decided to share our dreams and ideas together in April, at the time where there were no limits to the change we could imagine. The goal of the Summit was to share inspiration and gather ideas to ensure that Colorado has the resources needed to support our communities, districts, and small businesses! DCI used discussions, polls, and engaging processes in our first major virtual event to develop an action plan together to move into our new reality stronger and more resilient than ever. We tried to encompass what DCI is all about (FUN!) in this engaging event and we continued to incorporate these ideas into our many virtual events this year. 

    Katherine Jarvis from Denver Economic Development and Opportunity, who attended the Summit, remarked that, “The speakers were really excellent, and I appreciate the past, present and future perspectives of each.
    (Another benefit to virtual events is that everything can be recorded and encapsulated as a future resource. 
    You can watch the virtual summit here.)

    Since the start of the pandemic in mid-March, DCI began a weekly series for Downtown Champions to connect with peers, learn best practices and need-to-know information regarding the COVID shutdown. DCI also created an online resource library full of trainings, resources and best practices. As small business, districts, and local government were seeing budget reductions and adaptation to the new normal, DCI also hosted numerous events focused on urban renewal, redevelopment, and districts events to discuss mitigating risk and predictions for the future. The Developer vs URA knock-down, drag out mock debate between Carolynne White and Paul Benedetti was the event of the season! We also completely revamped our URA + District Resource Center to better serve our members and clearly organize all of the training, case studies, and guiding documents that we have to share. DCI has proven this year to be Colorado's Downtown Champions' go-to place for innovative, timely, and practical solutions through the 2020 Pandemic. 

    We also wanted to focus on big ideas and keep the conversations going about the important topics of equity, streets, housing and more with our “Future Of” Big Talk series. This dynamic platform shared big ideas to shape the next phase for commercial districts and downtowns. DCI has been hosting thought leaders and innovators who provide our members with tools they need for today and the future. Highlights include the “Future of Equity” and the work of Nita Mosby-Tyler of the Equity Project. This conversation examined the actions and the ways to support a more equitable future. The question comes down to each individual, each organization, and each community. The “Future of Housing” highlighted Ismael Guerrero’s work with Mercy Housing. This discussion included the topics of understanding redevelopment and displacement and how we can raise our standards for retaining residents as well as considering in a post pandemic world, what are the trends that will shape the future of housing in successful urban and rural communities? We are planning more Big Talks for 2021. The first one of the year will focus on the “Future of Building Community Wealth” with Yessica Holguín. Register Here!

    The DCI Colorado Challenge Accelerator Program was created as a dynamic program and approach capable of adapting to specific community needs. The pandemic has showcased how this program, when paired with amazing community partners, is able to address unexpected challenges. The 2020 Challenge Communities have demonstrated innovation and provided their businesses and residents with hope during this time. We have been inspired to witness and provide support for these five communities with overcoming pre-existing challenges, creating a COVID response, and building a plan to create stronger communities into the future. Each community has a unique profile and challenge. The Challenge Program approach has helped each community move the needle this year. The communities this year include Cañon City, Center, Durango, Old Colorado City, and Rocky Ford. Read about all of their accomplishments here

    “Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) played an integral role in La Plata County’s economic recovery. The Challenge Program brought community leaders together during our Challenge Community Virtual Studio Workshop to plan for a safe and efficient economic reopening,”Alex Rugoff from The City of Durango remarked. “The Workshop led to the formation of the La Plata Economic Recovery Task Force, which has been instrumental in providing local businesses resources to survive and adapt to the changing environment. I would strongly encourage other communities to get involved in DCI’s Challenge Community Program.”

    Another project started this year has stemmed from our Challenge Program called the San Luis Valley Placemaking and Engagement project. The purpose of this initiative is to inspire the people of the San Luis Valley to reclaim and restore beloved community places in their region through community connectivity, cohesive vision, and partnerships to ultimately leverage local and outside investment for local social entrepreneurship.  The project’s focus will directly impact five communities: Antonito, Center, La Jara, Saguache, and San Luis, but the impacts will work toward the vision and needs of the region by furthering the push for a unique and dynamic development. We have created an engagement site and will implement placemaking within the built environment in 2021 for residents from the Valley to share their vision for their community and help shape opportunities for the future. Check out the SLV Places site here!

    In addition to the Challenge Program and the San Luis Valley Placemaking and Engagement Project, DCI offers support for DOING with the Downtown Capacity Building Americorps VISTA Program. DCI is a sponsoring organization that manages and places VISTA members across the state which included the placement of 12 VISTAs this year at 9 sites. The VISTAs work on objectives that relate to community and economic development, housing, transit, education access, and more. 

    While none of us could have predicted this year and all of its twists and turns, we are extremely inspired by the way our communities have been able to pick up, innovate, and survive in the midst of chaos. We hope that you have been able to take part our special events, programming, and collaboration. It is an honor to serve all of our Colorado communities. We look forward to a brighter 2021. We are developing programming to GET IT DONE in 2021. We will focus on topics for Capacity Building, Tactical Activation, and Building Inclusive Places. Look into becoming a member or renewing so you don’t miss out! THANK YOU for being a Doer!

  • 12/22/2020 11:09 AM | Kylie Brown (Administrator)

    Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) celebrates the successes of Colorado Challenge Communities including Cañon City, Center, Durango, Old Colorado City, and Rocky Ford in moving objectives forward during the 2020 COVID 19 Pandemic. DCI has been inspired to witness and provide support for these five communities with overcoming pre-existing challenges, creating a COVID response, and building a plan to create stronger communities into the future. Each community has a unique profile and challenge. The Challenge Program approach has helped each community move the needle. Watch short videos from each community here.

    “It has been incredible to work with the Challenge Communities throughout 2020. The Colorado Challenge Program was created as a dynamic approach capable of adapting to specific community needs. The pandemic has showcased how this program, when paired with amazing community partners, is able to address unexpected challenges. The 2020 Challenge Communities have demonstrated innovation and provided their businesses and residents with hope during this time. The whole DCI team has been honored to be a part of it.” said Katherine Correll, DCI Executive Director. 

    2020 Colorado Challenge Communities include Cañon City, Center, Durango, Old Colorado City, and Rocky Ford. Each community worked with DCI to engage the Economic Development Class at the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver to identify and connect with stakeholders, outline opportunities, and establish a plan of action. When faced with COVID 19 mid-semester, the Colorado Challenge Communities, DCI, and the students adapted the plan and have demonstrated the resiliency of Colorado ingenuity!  Below are some of the incredible accomplishments from these communities in 2020.

    Cañon City Challenge: Loving the Local

    Population: 16,750

    Through the Challenge Program Assistance at the beginning of the pandemic, Cañon City established a Recovery Taskforce, an auction to support small business, and garnered $70,000 worth of grants to support permanent restaurant patio expansion. Since then, the town has hired a Main Street Program Manager who has worked to identify catalyst sites and incentives to spur reinvestment as well as cultivate unique Cañon City events and symbols to get more businesses and people downtown.

    “I am so grateful to be a member of the DCI Challenge Program,” said Ashley Smith, Mayor of Cañon City. “It has been a great asset to us in Cañon City to have DCI as intensive mentors and also all of the resources they’ve provided for us to help us get through COVID-19 and help us advise our small businesses. We’ve been able to secure funds and programming support our small business during this pandemic.” 

    Durango Challenge: Affordable Housing

    Population: 18.985

    The City of Durango was selected as a DCI 2020 Challenge Community to address the challenge of “Creatively Financing Development”. As the pandemic emerged, DCI and the City of Durango were able to quickly adapt to develop a strategic approach to slowly reopening of the community to ensure economic viability of re-opening their economy once and responsibly. DCI and Durango are now exploring next steps for a strategic approach to affordable housing. 

    “Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) played an integral role in La Plata County’s economic recovery. The Challenge Program brought community leaders together during our Challenge Community Virtual Studio Workshop to plan for a safe and efficient economic reopening,” Alex Rugoff from The City of Durango remarked. “The Workshop led to the formation of the La Plata Economic Recovery Task Force, which has been instrumental in providing local businesses resources to survive and adapt to the changing environment. I would strongly encourage other communities to get involved in DCI’s Challenge Community Program.”

    Once the recovery effort was well underway, The City of Durango was able to approve the formation of their Urban Renewal Authority in May. Since then, The Durango Renewal Partnership has been working closely with DCI to connect with DCI’s network of statewide leaders in urban renewal and affordable housing development. Durango has taken great strides recently to support place-sensitive, creative redevelopment to address pressing community needs such as attainable and affordable housing. DCI is excited to continue working with the City of Durango and the Durango Renewal Partnership.

    Center Challenge: Business Attraction

    Population: 2,304

    DCI and the Town of Center in the San Luis Valley, a 2019 Colorado Challenge Community, has continued to flourish following a temporary placemaking installation to engage around attracting investment. The Town has seen impressive impacts including change of ownership and investment in six long-standing vacant buildings, two commercial and two housing units currently under renovation, approval of funding for beautification, a partnership to bring an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub to the Town of Center, funding for a Downtown Capacity Building AmeriCorps VISTA, and connecting with property owners who will donate a property for youth run coworking. 

    “The Town of Center decided to shape our own future and stop kicking the can down the road,” said Brian Lujan, Town Manager. “The Challenge Program and DCI has helped the Town build a team of dedicated partners, consultants, and resources that keep momentum going and help us move our strategy forward.” 

    The Town of Center has also embarked on a series of trainings for long-term financing mechanisms, taking part in a $270,000 Valley-wide housing study, and considering two annexations. The Town of Center will begin working with Mass Design, an international housing and design firm, to develop a proposal for assistance to plan for a 90 acre parcel the Town owns with housing, broadband infrastructure, and a civic and educational campus. 

    Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs Challenge: Community Engagement. 

    Population:5,259 (district population)

    DCI works with districts in larger cities as well as smaller communities, and has worked with the Old Colorado City Partnership (OCCP) President for several years. The Old Colorado City 2020 Challenge has been to build awareness, a unified voice, and resources for this historic, creative, and foodie district in Colorado Springs. One target focus of the challenge was to build stronger partnerships with Manitou Springs and Downtown Colorado Springs to link the physical districts and the dynamic leadership in this corridor.  

    “The Old Colorado City Partnership is excited to be a part of the Colorado Challenge Program and partner with Downtown Colorado, Inc. as part of the continued effort to connect OCC with regional partners and revitalize the district,” saidJonathan Neely, OCCP President.  “The work done through DCI this past year has created a foundation for the OCCP to enhance our advocacy efforts and connect with regional efforts.” 

    The OCCP is now engaged in the corridor planning, participating in collaborative events and marketing, and supported business through the pandemic with events like Virtual First Friday. To-date the OCC Partnership has completed a utility-box wrap program, created a welcome center in a historic building in Bancroft Park, and secured over $148k in grants to create appealing and engaging outdoor spaces and options for business expansion and social distancing.

    Rocky Ford Challenge: Building Identity

    Population: 3,828

    The City of Rocky Ford is dedicated to building a stronger sense of place and sustainable job economy that supports job growth and opportunities for the community to invest and grow. The Colorado Challenge program has worked with a dedicated team, to establish a strategy for engagement and inventorying opportunities so the City emerges from the pandemic stronger than before. The City of Rocky Ford has established a broad working group that brings expertise, training, and identifies resources to support potential entrepreneurs, property owners, accessing information technology, and helps employees upskill for enhanced work opportunities in the future.

    “The City of Rocky Ford is seeing more interest in skills that allow residents to invest in the community.” said Shannon Wallace, City Manager.  “The role for the City is to help build public private partnerships that will empower our citizens to make the change they want to see with businesses, buildings, and collaboration for a sustainable economic future. 

    The City of Rocky Ford is establishing partnerships and resources to eventually foster new business development through a business incubator. For the initial phases of the work, The City has received a grant to guide property owners and real estate professionals in conducting due diligence and marketing vacant opportunity spaces and another grant to facilitate training and business creation within the community. An initial training was held in Rocky Ford in November, and a virtual session will be held on Dec 11. In 2021, the City will host a wide range of training expanding dialogue around Entrepreneurship, Information Technology, Workforce Training and Upskilling, Development Readiness, and Building and Construction Trades.

  • 11/24/2020 11:05 AM | Morgan Pierce (Administrator)

    On Thursday, November 12 Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) was joined by Kat Stewart from St. Charles Town Company LLC, a Denver urban real estate development company. Kat discussed the top challenges that retail, restaurants and commercial tenants face and how commercial districts can help overcome those challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The challenges are as follows;

    • COVID-19

    • Rent

    • Real Estate Tax

    • Building Department/Codes

    The COVID-19 Pandemic has created new challenges and exacerbated already existing challenges for tenants in Colorado. The major challenges of COVID-19 are;

    • Decreased sales 

    • Increased staffing levels 

    • Disruption of supply chains

    Kat stressed the importance of landlords doing whatever they can to keep their current tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic because the cost to re-tenant a commercial space is large and it tends to be a long-drawn-out process.

    Some tips to keeping the same tenets during the COVID-19 Pandemic are as follows;

    • Monetize all day-parts

      • Day-part: morning, mid-day, afternoon + evening 

      • Making sales all day long by changing menu, operations and partnering with different retailers + restaurants

    • Landlord, tenant and City Collaboration

    Tips for keeping up with Rent

    • Tenants and landlords to partner on rent solutions 

    • Facilitate solutions 

      • Grants

      • Business Improvement District connections

      • Public Improvement Fees - reducing operating expenses

      • Creative leas solutions - deferring rent 

    Tips for dealing with Rent and Real Estate Taxes

    • Take the lead in protesting real estate tax assessment 

      • Large increases in commercial real estate taxes are detrimental

      • Time and expense of these protests can be shared between tenant and landlord

      • Gallagher repeal will help with this

    Tips for dealing with City Building Departments/Building Codes

    • Cut through the red tape of building departments and building codes

    • Stakeholders need to advocate for the tenant 

    • Building department flexibility

      • Time = Money, timeframe for entitlement and development to be cut so that tenants can move in and begin generating revenue

      • Reducing the point of contact in the city and building departments to streamline the process

      • Fast Facts Document that is a shortlist of requirements that will increase productivity

      • Ensure more collaboration

      • Reduce Cost Burden

        • Eliminate code interpretation driven by opinion 

        • Relax rules for small tenants on some high-cost improvements

        • Rural municipalities to incorporate more progressive codes

    To watch the full video recording please click here

    Kat Stewart 

    Kat is a freelance project and operations professional.  Kat began her career with a local, full-service real estate development company and later moved into commercial real estate as the Vice President of Finance for Shift Workspaces, a shared workspace provider. Kat most recently was the Vice President of Operations for St. Charles Town Company and was responsible for the oversight and asset management of the company’s real estate portfolio. Kat has extensive experience working with tenants to maneuver through the City of Denver's building department and permitting process.

  • 11/23/2020 1:38 PM | Morgan Pierce (Administrator)

    On November 19th Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) hosted our final COVID response call of 2020 focusing on Planning Happy Pandemic Holidays that encourage a safe holiday season and support small local businesses! We had the privilege of hearing from five different communities across Colorado and how they are adapting their holiday traditions to cater to social distancing and statewide mandates. 

    • Kristine Borchers: Lake City

    • Kris Marreta: Basalt

    • Tim Walsworth: Durango

    • Laurel Prud’homme: Colorado Springs

    • Terri Takata-Smith: Boulder

    Lake City

    Lake City has some of the best access to public land and outdoor recreation in the country. This winter, Lake City wants Coloradans to leave their homes for some socially distanced outdoor recreation this holiday season! The town is also adapting their annual Missing Mistletoe tradition into a virtual experience in order to reduce in-person interactions while still supporting small businesses. Kristine highlighted two small businesses that are shipping across the state for this holiday season. Dog + Bone, who is offering celebratory 2020 dog collars, and Refuge Coffee Roasters who want to share their excellent coffee with Coloradans across the state.

    • Encouraging outdoor recreation (i.e. Lake City Ski Hill is open...etc.)

    • Virtual Missing Mistletoe 

    • Dog + Bone: https://dogplusbone.com/

    • Refuge Coffee Roasters: https://www.refugeroasters.com/

    You can reach Kristine at kristineborchers@yahoo.com 


    Kris Mattera from the Basalt Chamber is planning for any level of statewide restrictions because the town does not want to host an event that would turn into a super spreader. Basalt is encouraging holiday decorating contests among residents and downtown businesses. They are also planning for a virtual Santa and Santa riding around town on a firetruck with holiday music instead of their traditional holiday tree lighting event. The winter weather does not allow for outdoor dining, but the city is encouraging residents to have their favorite restaurant cater their holiday meals. In order to prevent overcrowding in local businesses, the town is suggesting that retailers offer one on one appointments as well as online shopping opportunities.

    • Holiday decorating contest

    • Virtual Santa 

    • Santa riding on a firetruck 

    • Safe + healthy = good for business

    • Restaurants cater to holiday meals

    • One on one appointments and online shopping for local retailers

    You can reach Kris at director@basaltchamber.org 


    Durango is changing things up this year by expanding their Noel Night tradition to Noel Nights to encourage shoppers to spread out their shopping experience and dissuade shoppers from overcrowding local retailers. During Noel Nights local businesses offer discounts for locals only, and some retailers will be offering virtual shopping experiences using Facebook Live and other social media platforms. Durango is also promoting a Holiday Rewards Program from November 23rd-December 15th that gives customers a gift card depending on the amount they spend at local retailers. Downtown Durango partnered with the chamber of commerce and various sponsors to invest $20,000 into the program allowing them to reward up to 600 people. Durango is also launching an online auction/marketplace called More the Love that encourages online shopping with local retailers and businesses. 

    • Noel Nights for the month of December

    • Virtual shopping experiences using Facebook Live + social media

    • Holiday Rewards: https://www.downtowndurango.org/holidayrewards

    • More the Love:: https://www.downtowndurango.org/onlinestore

    You can reach Tim at TimW@downtowndurango.org 

    Colorado Springs

    Small Business Saturday starting the first Saturday of November to encourage distanced shopping while supporting local businesses. Downtown Colorado Springs is also providing Small Business Saturday stickers and posters for businesses to display as well as stickers for costumers to get the word out. Downtown Colorado Springs has updated its online directory with photos and website links for online shopping, and they are providing a discover downtown digital coupon book and encouraging retailers to do virtual and in-person appointments for shoppers. This year they are activating empty storefronts for QR code window shopping and an adventure game called with my gnomies! Families can peek through the windows of downtown to find hidden gnomes and find clues to decode a message. Downtown businesses are also providing seventeen curated adventure packages as gift ideas. 

    • Smaller Business Saturday starting the first Saturday of November 

    • Stickers and posters for Small Business Saturday promotions

    • Full online directory with photos of businesses

    • Discover downtown pass: digital coupon book

    • Shopping by appointment with virtual and in-person options

    • With my gnomies adventure game: http://downtowncs.com/gnomies/

    • Window shopping with QR codes

    • Curated adventure packages: https://downtowncs.com/adventures/

    You can reach Laurel at Laurel@DowntownCS.com


    Downtown Boulder redesigned its website to advertise virtual events and shopping opportunities. Light Up The Holidays activities including Snow Much Fun, a self-guided walking tour of downtown holiday lights that is on display until January 10th. For the Love of Boulder social media campaign promoting and highlighting local businesses and giving customers an inside look at the people and ideas behind these businesses. Downtown Boulder and downtown businesses also teamed up for Love the Local gift boxes that include samplings from local merchants and can be pre-ordered and shipped throughout the United States. Downtown Boulder is purchasing the boxes at full price from merchants and selling them to patrons at a discounted price to encourage shoppers to discover all the unique merchants in downtown Boulder. For children and families, there will be a Freezie the snowman bingo game with prizes and rewards for finding Freezie in stores and storefront windows. Other family-friendly activities include free coloring books and a mailbox to send letters to Santa.

    • For the love of Boulder: social media highlights weekly for local businesses

    • Snow Much Fun holiday lights November 22nd- January 10th: https://boulderdowntown.com/light-up-the-holidays/events/snow-much-fun

    • Light Up The Holidays: https://boulderdowntown.com/light-up-the-holidays

    • Sidewalk sales permits

    • Love the Local gift boxes with samplings from downtown merchants: https://boulderdowntown.com/gift-box-guide

    • Freezie the snowman bingo game in stores + store windows: https://boulderdowntown.com/light-up-the-holidays/events/freezie-bingo

    • Mailbox for letters to Santa 

    • Coloring pages + coloring books free of charge online and in stores

    • Downtown businesses holiday decorating contest that is judged by the community

    You can reach Terri at terri@downtownboulder.org 

    Kristine Borchers

    I have been the Main Street manager in Lake City since 2006 and also serve as a Hinsdale County Commissioner.

    Kris Mattera

    Kris moved to the Roaring Fork Valley from Boston, Massachusetts in 2016, following years of visiting Colorado and a summer working at a dude ranch in Buena Vista. She received her undergraduate degree in graphic design and multimedia studies from Northeastern University and a Master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Emerson College. 

    Kris is fascinated by the intersection of community, technology, society and the digital space, and how it can be leveraged to build personal connections and tell great stories. She moved to the Valley due to its great mix of job opportunities, recreation, culture, mountain town charm and natural beauty. 

    Tim Walsworth

    Tim Walsworth has served as the Executive Director for the Durango Business Improvement District since January 2013. Since he has been hired, BID has grown its budget, taken on the management of the San Juan Brewfest and Durango’s 4th of July celebration, relocated its office, added new programs, and improved its service to its constituents.

    Prior to assuming the position of Executive Director of the Durango Business Improvement District in January 2013, Tim Walsworth served as the President and CEO for United Way of Southwest Colorado for 10 years. Additionally, he has more than 15 years of nonprofit management experience and worked for two leading United Way chapters prior to arriving in Southwest Colorado.

    Laurel Prud’homme

    Laurel Prud’homme began her career as a graphic designer, working in advertising and design firms where she advanced to roles as art director and account manager. With a career transition to the corporate world, she shifted her focus to marketing strategy and implementation of integrated B2B and B2C communications plans in the nonprofit health care sector.

    Currently, Laurel is the Vice President of Communications for the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs. Her work involves strategic communications, promotions, marketing and media relations to position Downtown Colorado Springs as an economic driver and the destination of choice for shopping, dining, art, culture in the Pikes Peak Region.

    Terri Takata-Smith

    Terri Takata-Smith is an experienced marketing and PR strategist with over 20 years in the industry and 10 years marketing downtown Boulder. She specializes in developing and implementing comprehensive marketing, promotional & communication plans and campaigns. 

    As the Vice President of Marketing & Communications for the Downtown Boulder Partnership (DBP), Takata-Smith provides strategic leadership and management of the organizations’ initiatives – both brand and event marketing. Throughout her ten years with DBP, Downtown Boulder has launched an extremely successful and well-received social media program, responsive website and other creative initiatives keeping Downtown Boulder at the forefront of innovative marketing and communications among downtown districts.

  • 11/18/2020 10:16 AM | Morgan Pierce (Administrator)

    On Tuesday, October 27th, Jeff Speck joined Downtown Colorado, Inc (DCI) for a presentation on the current condition of streets and the future of streets in a post-pandemic world. We talked about the COVID adaptations to streets in downtowns across the country. The graphic below shows the many different types of reconstructed streets that bring businesses outside and into the fresh air. 

    Mr. Speck emphasized that the design of streets should be focused on the survival of businesses and that some of these alterations could be made permanent to encourage more walkability and outdoor interactions. 

    COVID adaptations aside, the future of streets is to be walkable! Walkability can bring more customers to businesses. The general theory of walkability in America is that the walk has to be as good or even better than the drive in order to encourage Americans to slow down and take in the scenery. 

    Cities and towns across America can get people to walk by providing a,

    • Reason to walk

    • Safe walk

    • Comfortable walk

    • Interesting walk

    Most successful places in America have a parking problem and issues with speeding in popular downtown areas. How can we provide, design, and manage parking so that cities can thrive?

    1. Eliminate the on-site parking requirement 

    2. Price parking in line with its value

    3. Create parking benefits districts 

    Questions + Answers

    Q: How can we address the issue of electric bikes speeding on Broadway in Eagle?


    • Signage

    • Angled parking can create slower driving

    • Restructure the road by moving curbs and switching to parallel parking spaces

    Q: What adaptations would you suggest for rural downtowns during COVID?

    A: In rural downtowns, the focus should be on supporting the existing businesses with more sidewalk dining adaptations, and using extra curb space if it is available. 

    Jeff Speck

    Jeff Speck is a city planner and urban designer who advocates internationally for more walkable cities. As Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 through 2007, he presided over the Mayors' Institute on City Design and created the Governors' Institute on Community Design. Prior to his federal appointment, Mr. Speck spent ten years as Director of Town Planning at DPZ & Co., the principal firm behind the New Urbanism movement. Since 2007, he has led Speck & Associates, an award-winning private design consultancy serving public officials and the real estate industry.

  • 10/15/2020 11:32 AM | Morgan Pierce (Administrator)

    Since early March 2020:

    • Millions of employees shifted to remote work in a matter of weeks.

    • The unemployment rate skyrocketed to 4.4% (and it hasn’t peaked) and many are gig economy workers, self-employed, and small business owners.

    • And, recent labor statistics show that the average worker changes jobs 12 times in a lifetime.

    We’re living in the age of accelerations, a term coined by Thomas Friedman. Multiple accelerations in technology, climate, and globalization are happening concurrently and faster than ever before. Society and our economy are being reshaped right before our very eyes.

    This also implies that work, jobs, and the workforce are being reshaped. In fact, the entire concept of professional identity is being destabilized. New forms of professional identity are emerging — along with hybrid jobs is the emergence of hybrid professionals.

    With the coronavirus pandemic, we’re being forced to dramatically shift the way we work. Post-COVID, the landscape of work is going to look different. Work will not return to the way it once was. The hybrid economy is upon us. So, how should we prepare?

    The Hybrid Job Economy

    Burning Glass Technologies compiles job market analytics. In 2019 they wrote a report on how “new skills are rewriting the DNA of the job market.” They described that jobs are essentially tasks that need to be completed, so why not look at the DNA of those tasks to understand what’s happening in the job market.

    In doing this, they scored nearly a billion current and historical job postings to analyze trends. They scored jobs as more hybrid if:

    • “They required skills typically requested outside their occupation group.”

    • “They required skill clusters that often combine multiple functional domains (e.g. marketing automation software).”

    • “They required a larger set of distinct core skills and competencies.”

    What Burning Glass found was that in today’s labor market “technology is mutating jobs into new, unexpected forms.”

    The report stated:

    More and more jobs are “hybrids,” combining skill sets that never used to be found in the same job, such as marketing and statistical analysis, or design and programming. Certain skills are acting as hybridizing forces, spreading across different roles. Fully one-quarter of all occupations in the U.S. economy show strong signs of hybridization, and they are almost universally the fastest-growing and highest-paying — and also the most resistant to automation. Some of these jobs are new, some are new versions of existing jobs, but all of them pose much different challenges for workers, students, employers, and educators.

    Burning Glass found that hybrid jobs are becoming the highest-growing and highest in-demand, with projections for “very high” hybridization jobs estimated at 21% over the next 10 years, more than double the pace for jobs overall. Not all jobs in the job market will be hybridized, and there are different levels of hybridization within jobs. Some will be more hybrid than others.

    It’s important to note that hybridization doesn’t mean more technology is involved. In fact, hybrid jobs tend to require a substantial amount of human talent in the areas of judgment and creativity, things that can’t easily be automated. If jobs are being hybridized, then professional identities are too. How should we refer to this new type of professional in the workforce?

    Welcome the Hybrid Professional

    Hybrid professionals blend dissimilar skills and traits across unrelated domains to achieve new forms of work. A marketer who is also a data scientist and a coder is a hybrid professional. Fields such as UI/UX is a whole new category that emerged at the intersections of technology, design, and user research.

    Professional identity is a complex topic. We tend to associate a person’s identity with their occupation or industry and define them by that. Instead, professional identity is a social construct that’s based on how a person perceives themselves. That’s a significant difference .

    A person who works in education doesn’t necessarily see themselves as a teacher or an administrator. They might be an online instructional designer or a translator of exceptional learner needs. These are identities that transcend typical boxes and include cross-disciplinary, ambiguous, and mixed skill sets. It’s not easy to write job descriptions for hybrid professionals or to even give them job titles.

    In this age of accelerations, as we rewire the DNA of traditional jobs into hybrid ones, professionals can be both experts and generalists. Professional identity used to be binary — either an expert or a generalist. People with many identities were called jacks-of-all-trades, multi-talented, or polymaths. However, hybridity is the integration and weaving together of multiple identities, not just having multiple identities. Hybrids work from the intersections, and that’s where an entirely new type of identity exists, a hybrid one.

    Hybrid professionals claim their multiple talents along with their passions, and mold it into something new, even developing their own hybrid title. A hybrid title is a way to declare themselves as a professional who does something novel, and it differentiates them from the rest of the workforce because they don’t sound like everyone else.

    A Chief Edu-Agitator or a Motherhood Sanity Builder are examples of hybrid titles that give some familiar clues as to what they might do but also leaves a lot to the imagination. Hybrid titles like this beg for potential employers and clients to ask them for more information about themselves. Such titles are gateways for hybrid professionals to define and express themselves instead of being lumped together with colleagues. It’s the identity they wish to bring to the workforce instead of the one that was assigned to them.

    Future of Work

    Heather McGowan, a future of work strategist, shares an analogy of an iceberg to describe how she sees what’s important for the future of work. While skills are key, she says we focus on them too much. McGowan places skills at top of the iceberg since it’s the only part we see above the water.

    McGowan places identity as a foundational element at the base of the iceberg, hidden from sight. She emphasizes that adaptive and resilient identity are at the base of everything. In her diagram, knowing one’s purpose and adapting along the way are what propel a strong workforce.

    Futurists predict workers will potentially hold 17 jobs spanning across five sectors in one lifetime. As the economy shifts, new roles appear and old roles disappear. Workers must constantly evolve and merge skills and talents. Hybridity is becoming a critical asset to remaining relevant, not just a nice to have attribute.

    In a post-COVID world, employers will be looking for people who continue to grow, gain new skills, and are able to adapt their talents into changing circumstances and workforce needs. The lifelong career is becoming a portfolio career, a non-linear path that’s uncertain and unpredictable. This requires workers to know how to easily articulate their hybridity — what makes them unique and competent at combining skills in ways that are unlike other workers. Hybridity will be a valuable commodity in a rapidly shifting, competitive global job market.

    For more information on Sarabeth Berk and her work please visit her website: More Than My Title.

    You can contact her at: info@morethanmytitle.com

  • 10/14/2020 11:47 AM | Morgan Pierce (Administrator)

    DCI continues to provide COVID-19 programming on Thursday mornings from 8:30am-10:00 am. During our October 8th call, we invited the Colorado Brownfield Partnership which is made up of Community Builders, Development Research Partners and CDPHE to share resources and engagement tools for brownfield implementation success. The speakers included Clark Anderson and Danielle Campbell of Community Builders, Amy Johnson of Kit Carson Rural Development, Mark Rudolph of CDPHE, and Jesse Silverstein of Development Research Partners. 




    Community engagement workshop to discuss needs and opportunities. The workshop provided context and knowledge on economic development, public-private partnering, and financing opportunities. The engagement experience also included an opportunity to identify Silverton’s assets and community needs. 


    Kit Carson

    Development of brownfields is full of many challenges in small-town communities where home values are not as high. The challenges require creative innovation, partnerships, problem solving, and perseverance lead to amazing results that benefit the community as a whole. 

    Kit Carson is a small, rural community with many vacant, dilapidated houses or abandoned houses or houses in severe disrepair. There is a housing shortage and new homes have not been built in over 25 years. Kit Carson Rural Development is a nonprofit organization devoted “to promote, beautify and assist in the betterment of the towns of Kit Carson and Wild Horse.” Many of the vacant sites are brownfields with concerns of asbestos and other environmental concerns.

    Kit Carson Rural Development in partnership with Colorado Brownfield Partnership has been able to address the housing concern in Kit Carson by utilizing brownfields resources, grant money, partnerships, community support, and hard work. 

    Kit Carson’s Strategies:



    • Community engagement encourages identification of opportunities and next steps

    • Perseverance, creativity and partnerships are crucial when dealing with brownfields sites

    • Colorado Brownfield Partnership has a variety of expertise and resources to problem solve 

    Watch the full event here From Vision to Reality! Engagement Tools For Brownfield Implementation Success, and access the presentation slides here.


    Clark Anderson:

    Clark Anderson is co-founder and Executive Director of Community Builders. He has spent the last 15 years helping communities address complex land use, transportation, housing, and economic development challenges. An entrepreneur, seasoned facilitator, and bridge-builder, he’s adept at helping people find common ground through informed dialogue and meaningful public engagement. Clark helps communities create a shared vision for the future and identify the strategies and partnerships needed to get there.

    Clark is also a small-scale developer focused on building “missing middle” housing within his own community. Born and raised in nearby Eagle County, Clark currently lives in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, with his wife, Kayce, and their children, Blu and Rayne. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Colorado and a master’s in geography from the University of California, Davis.

    Danielle Campbell:

    Danielle is a Project Manager with Community Builders and leads Colorado Brownfields Partnership in on the ground assistance and financial resources. She leads on-call customer service for individuals wanting to learn and access the Program’s resources.

    Danielle has a strategic focus in real estate and economic development and is uniquely qualified to deliver strategies and best practices for implementation. In addition, she has worked across private, public, and non–profit sectors, making her skills versatile and able to address complex issues across diverse groups.

    Amy Johnson:

    Amy Johnson is the chairperson of Kit Carson Rural Development (KCRD), a non-profit that focuses on improving the rural town of Kit Carson.  Amy has served as chair of KCRD since 2006, and in that time KCRD has worked on two HUD grants to develop affordable housing, an EPA grant to clean up brownsfields, and a GOCO grant to develop the local park.  In addition KCRD has worked with other funders on affordable housing and other town improvement projects. 

    Amy also works on her family’s cattle ranch.  She and her husband of 25 years, Toby, manage the family’s cow calf operation that has operated in Kit Carson since 1907.  Amy is originally from Bethesda, Maryland and attended Colorado College graduating in 1993. 

    Mark Rudolph:

    Mark Rudolph has been an Environmental Protection Specialist with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) for over 20 years and has 30+ years of experience working on environmental projects including Superfund project management, site assessments, sampling investigations, and Brownfields redevelopment.  Additionally, Mark has extensive knowledge in mine site reclamation, regulation and operations.  He has experience in monitoring of air, water, emergency response and Quality Assurance and Quality Control planning.  

    Jesse Silverstein:

    Jesse Silverstein has extensive experience providing commercial real estate strategies, public finance analysis, and economic/fiscal impact analysis for a variety of public-private development and redevelopment projects.  Jesse’s market intelligence services are used for critical decisions regarding real estate investment and economic development opportunities in Colorado and nationally.  Mr. Silverstein's experience includes positions as founder and executive director of the nonprofit Colorado Brownfields Foundation, director at Equitable Real Estate Investment Management, and Chief Appraiser for the Resolution Trust Corporation (a division of FDIC) in Washington, D.C. Mr. Silverstein holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Delaware, a master's degree in economics from the University of Colorado Boulder, and has an MAI professional designation in commercial real estate analysis from the Appraisal Institute. 

  • 09/21/2020 11:15 AM | Kylie Brown (Administrator)

    Since 2017, students in Randy Harrison’s ‘Economic Development’ class (PUAD 5630) have had the opportunity to engage with Colorado communities in an experience unlike any felt in a typical classroom.  Through its partnership with Downtown Colorado, Inc., this SPA course allows students to become project coordinators in a process known as the Colorado Challenge Program; here, students connect with community members and experts in the field to establish a plan of work to engage public, private, and non-profit partners in addressing a significant community challenge over the course of their semester.[i]  Through their partnership, SPA students and DCI have connected with and created initiatives for almost 30 Colorado communities.  

    Despite the touchdown of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the intentions for community improvement by this year’s SPA students, their DCI partner, and the five Colorado communities selected to participate in the program were unwavering.  

    In order to shape their plans of action, the SPA-DCI team transitioned their work with the 2020 Challenge Communities entirely online.  While some communities shifted their respective challenges to address COVID-19 recovery and planning, the community of Old Colorado City kept their sights set on their original challenge to “Form Corridor Partnerships.” More specifically, Old Colorado City sought to establish themselves as a strong community partner to their Colorado Avenue neighbors, Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs.  In the midst of a global pandemic, and with their goal in mind, the OCC-SPA-DCI team got to work.

    Throughout the course of the semester, SPA Student Coordinator John Hill worked closely with the OCC Special Improvement Maintenance District (SIMD) Board Chair, Jonathan Neely, to identify opportunities for the community to not only connect with their Corridor partners but thrive in their own right.  

    Jonathan Neely provided the below testimonial about his experience in the Challenge program: 

    The Old Colorado City Partnership is excited to be a part of the Colorado Challenge Program and partner with Downtown Colorado, Inc. and the School of Public Affairs as part of the continued effort to connect OCC with regional partners and revitalize the district.  The work done through DCI and the SPA students this past year has created a foundation for the OCCP to enhance our advocacy efforts and connect with regional efforts.” 

    As the project progressed and various pressures stemming from COVID-19 crept in, previous SPA student coordinator Jackie Hazelwood joined the team to assist in broadening the scope of the project to focus on opportunities all three Corridor communities could take advantage of.  Hazelwood brought her prior experience working with Center, Colorado in the 2019 Challenge Program to the table. 

    Jackie Hazelwood provided the below testimonial about her experience working with DCI and participating in the Challenge program:

    “In working with Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) and two different Colorado Challenge Communities over the course of the last year, I’ve gained invaluable hands-on experience in the field of Economic Development.  In addition to the field experience gained, my classmates and I were able to build relationships with the individual communities we worked with.  In thinking back on this “course,” it feels like anything but work done in a classroom; we were able to see our efforts directly translate to action!”

    The conversations and planning between various Corridor stakeholders culminated in a two-hour Virtual Studio Workshop on April 16, 2020 in which DCI and now Corridor partners, Old Colorado City, Manitou Springs, and Colorado Springs, brought together presenters to provide a framework for establishing a revitalization strategy for Old Colorado City.  The Virtual Studio Workshop included two breakout sessions where participants brainstormed ideas to establish Old Colorado City as a strong partner along this commercial corridor.  Additionally, participants highlighted key assets the entire Corridor could capitalize on in their collective goal of creating a unique progression between the communities’ retail areas along Colorado Avenue.

    As the semester came to a close, SPA students put together a comprehensive report for each community summarizing identified assets, obstacles, and opportunities their respective community might pursue based on stakeholder conversations and the Virtual Studio Workshop.  Today, DCI continues to work with each of these communities to implement the action plans SPA students put together for the 2020 Challenge Communities. 

    The SPA Economic Development class has been credited by communities for providing an important service at this time of need. Past students from this class have also attributed the real-life experience as the number one class they reference when sharing experience for a job interview. The class is remarkably well-suited for virtual participation and in 2021 will consider the prospects and frameworks that communities will need to build more inclusive places in the future. 

    The School of Public Affairs Economic Development class 
    This class has been credited by communities for provided an important service at this time of need. Past students from this class have also attributed the real-life experience as the number one class they reference when sharing experience for a job interview. The class is remarkably well-suited for virtual participation and in 2021 will consider the prospects and frameworks that communities will need to build more inclusive places in the future. 

    [i] Downtown Colorado, Inc. (2020). https://downtowncoloradoinc.org/Colorado-Challenge-Program

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