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Conference Schedule
Don't regret missing a session! Check out our sneak preview of the conference sessions to plan out which sessions you wish to attend. Note that there are both concurrent sessions and plenary sessions. *All denoted sessions have been approved for 1.25 CM credits unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

12:30 PM Concurrent Sessions:

Tourism and the Small Town*, Sarah McLean, Durango Area Tourism; Hilarie Portell, Portell Works. Tourism is a driving force for small town economies. But, there are so many different types of tourism these days, it is hard to keep up: heritage tourism, culinary tourism, adventure tourism, agritourism, gay and lesbian tourism, and more. This session will explore various types of tourism and which type would be the best fit your community.

Engaging the Community in Public Forum Planning*
, Chris Haller, Engaging Cities; Mike Hussey, Nolte; Mike Tupa, CSU-DOLA Extension. Design in small communities requires local support  which can be gained by involving the community in the design process. This session will examine methods of public involvement in design development, illustrate examples of how that process has been used on rural community projects, as well as explore online tools to make planning processes more participatory, collaborative and effective.

1:45 PM Concurrent Sessions:

Business Incubation 101*, Joe Keck, Southwest Colorado Small Business Development Center. This session will provide an overview of the best practices in business incubation, including types of business incubation programs and their economic impact. Key points to be covered include the importance of client selection, services, graduation, and potential downtown partnerships.

Making Connections Downtown*, Noré Winter, Winter & Co.; Mary Phillips, Winter & Co. Special places, buildings and sites enhance the appeal of our downtowns and provide opportunities for community enjoyment. Downtown plans that focus on connecting these assets, such that the resulting sum is greater than the individual parts, can be a cost-effective way to make the best use of existing resources and phase new improvements. This session focuses on case studies from across the country where connectivity has been used as an urban design approach. Success stories highlight the use of trails and urban pedestrian systems to knit assets together. Ranging from a small hamlet to a medium sized city, these provide lessons with real, practical, take-home tips for downtown advocates.

Main Street Track*, Todd Barman, National Trust Main Street; Tracy Barnett, MainStreet Steamboat Springs; Marc Citone, Department of Local Affairs; Christy Culp, Department of Local Affairs; additional speakers to be announced. The Main Street track will give an overview of the Four Point Approach and is intended for new Main Street communities or those interested in the program or concepts. These sessions will offer the theory behind each of the Four Points and practical ways to successfully implement them. Please note this session track lasts from 1:45pm to 6:00pm. (Note: The entire Main Street Track has been approved for 2.50 CM credits.)

This track will include:

1:45 – 2:15, Principles of the Program and the Four Point Approach – Building a Great Program
2:15 – 3:15, The Organization Committee – Managing Resources 
3:15 – 4:15, The Economic Restructuring Committee – Planting the Seeds for Successful Businesses   4:30 – 5:15, The Promotion Committee – Marketing Your District  
5:15 – 6:00, The Design Committee – Preserving Your History, Creating a Sense of Place

NOTE: For attendees who are unable to attend the full conference, the Main Street session track will be available for stand-alone purchase.

3:00 PM Concurrent Sessions:

Heritage Tourism & Brownfields as Economic Development Tools*, Beverly Rich, San Juan County Historical Society; William Tookey, San Juan County; Mark Walker, Colorado Brownfields Foundation. This session will examine how the Town of Silverton and San Juan County have adopted heritage tourism as an economic development tool. By utilizing the area's rich mining heritage, the historical society has aggressively pursued historical designation and preservation projects to create jobs and support the growing tourism industry as an integral part of the county's economy. Case study will focus on the Anvil Mountain redevelopment project, a planned affordable housing community to be built on the site of a former smelter, with redevelopment complicated by the environmental clean-up, and funds secured from a variety of sources. Issues using Brownfields funding to do redevelopment projects where environmental contamination is an issue will also be discussed.

Attracting Investment to Your District*, Hilarie Portell, Portell Works. Most districts have a strong focus on consumer promotions to drive local spending. Are you doing the same to attract investment? This session will address how to position and market your district as a good investment to business owners, developers, funding agencies and others. Topics will include organizational and district branding, market research, key strategies and marketing tools, with case studies from Colorado communities. 

Mobile Tour: "City of Brewery Love” Durango Brewery Tour. Microbreweries are a wonderful example of Colorado's thriving culinary tourism scene. Experience it yourself by taking part in a fun-filled and informative tour of the Durango area breweries. This mobile tour will include a visit to SKA Brewery, the area’s largest, as well as exhibits by Durango Brewing Company, Carvers Brewing Company, and Steamworks Brewing Company. The local breweries will also discuss their collaboration on Bootleggers, a group they formed to perform community work.

4:30 PM Concurrent Sessions:
Extending Your Downtown Organization's Reach: Creating Partnerships and Leveraging Relationships*, Jamie Licko, Centro, Inc. It's a fact that our non-profit downtown organizations are consistently looking for opportunities to do more with limited budgets and staff. In this session, explore some interesting partnerships that have been forged between downtown groups and other community partners from both the public and private sectors - community agencies and facilities, universities and private businesses -- to creatively advance the work of downtown organizations without demanding significant resources. 

Mobile Tour: Downtown Durango Culinary Walking Tour. Downtown Durango has more restaurants per capita than San Francisco! Durango's culinary offerings reflect the richness, creativity, talent and uniqueness of the Southwest. This taste of Durango tour will provide a fun and delicious journey through the traditional and innovative local cuisines.

6:30 PM Plenary:

Roles and Partnerships in Marketing Downtowns, "Downtown Bob" Kunkel, City of Durango. How do you accomplish more with less? This session will focus on ways for downtown managers and community leaders to maximize their effectiveness at promoting their downtown activities…despite the reality of having almost no budget, no help, no authority, and an uncontrollable herd of independent-minded merchants. Be there to gather ideas on how to break through the barriers of your bailiwick.  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

8:00 AM

An Invitation to Create a Wise Economy*, Della Rucker, Wise Economy. Della grapples with key questions that drive the leading economic development and planning thinkers in the U.S. today:
Why do some places thrive for the long term? Why do some thrive for a while and then fail? Why do some never seem to get it together? Can we protect our communities from at least the worst of crashes and the slow, painful decline? Can we make our community more resilient? Can we make our community better able to thrive for the long run? Della has concluded that communities that experience real long-term success are those that develop the characteristics of a Wise Economy.  They (1) think ahead about the full range of potential outcomes that a decision might create; (2) anticipate and deal with the potential unintended consequences of their decisions; (3) make conscious choices, rather than letting circumstances make the choices for them; (4) engage people in a compassionate matter that guides and helps them make decisions that are in everyone’s best interest; and (5) use tools and processes to do all this efficiently and without becoming paralyzed.  We will discuss how communities can pursue the development of a Wise Economy by dealing with communities as systems, building on what makes us unique, and thinking like a cockroach. 

10:00 AM Concurrent Sessions:

Community Revitalization: Turning Around Vacant Properties*, Jesse Silverstein, Colorado Brownfields Foundation; Alan Nazzaro, Community Restoration Partners; Tim Dolan, Colorado Housing & Finance Authority. Empty buildings and vacant properties are like missing teeth in your downtown smile. This session will present market tactics and transactional tools for activating your business district by filling abandoned properties with new businesses, community activity centers, and public spaces. Topics will include real estate due diligence and market positioning, available development incentives, and sources for technical and financial assistance.

Seed To Profit: The Economic & Community Benefits of Local Food System Development*, Blake Angelo, CSU Extension; Mickki Langston, Mile High Business Alliance; Eric Kornacki, Revision International. Colorado produces less than 1% of the food consumed in the metro Denver area.  Each year metro residents purchase nearly $6B worth of food sourced from distant farms and businesses. The value of this purchase power is greater than all of Colorado farmers’ earned income. Denver’s current food system literally creates poverty as our consumer dollars flow out of state.  In this session learn about Denver’s efforts to capture this economic activity and keep it local by developing a robust food system. From enhanced local production and expanded networks among food businesses to Food Labs and food retailing, many opportunities exist to add value to our food system. In addition to the economic incentives, cultivation of a local food economy builds social fabric and adds value beyond profit to the community.

Walking Tour: Durango Intermodal Transit Center. Opened in Fall 2010, the Intermodal Transit Center, this 8,000-square-foot, $4 million building is the largest of its kind in the southwest. The new transit center acts as a regional hub for public transportation in the region. The facility is LEED certified and includes passenger amenities, including restrooms, information counters, a passenger concourse and city transit offices as well as covered bike parking for approximately 100 bicycles.  

11:30 AM Concurrent Sessions

Lunch-time Dine-Arounds. Experience the local fare and join conference-goers and colleagues for this informal lunchtime discussion held at various restaurants throughout downtown Durango. Each dine-around will feature a downtown revitalization topic and be led by a facilitator with expertise in this area. The dine-around is an optional conference session and is not included in the regular conference registration. The purchase of a $30 ticket is required for attendance.

Engaging Youth: Do not let high school graduation be the day you say goodbye to the youth in your community. This session will focus on best practices and experiences of engaging youth in the community so that the next generation develops an investment in the success of your downtown.

Financing Downtowns: Special districts are an important tool for financing improvements in your downtown. Is your community ready to take this step? What are the opportunities and challenges? This session will examine vehicles for financing downtowns and the pros and cons of each.

Tourism Niches: Heritage tourism, culinary tourism, agritourism, adventure tourism, gay and lesbian tourism...does your community embrace a tourism niche? Should you be? This session will provide explore the various types of tourism and what will work best in your communities.

Transit-Oriented Development: Transit-oriented development has become a popular term, but what does it mean and can it benefit your community? Can it even work in your community? This session will focus on transit-oriented development and how this can have a positive impact on your community.

Regional Collaboration: As resources become more and more limited, communities need to consider looking beyond their town boundaries for opportunities to collaborate. This session will discuss experiences, challenges, and best practices for regional collaboration. The discussion will be led by representatives of La Plata Economic Development Alliance and Sustainability Alliance of Southwest Colorado

Technical Assistance Next Steps: DCI and the Department of Local Affairs have partnered to conduct dozens of technical assistance visits across the state. This session will address the next steps a community should take following a technical assistance visit. Both previous technical assistance recipients and those who are considering a technical assistance visit are encouraged to attend.

1:30 PM Concurrent Sessions:

Best Special Districts & Simple Financing Tools*, Anna Jones, PUMA; Vicki Mattox, Stifel Nicolaus; Anne Ricker, Ricker Cunningham. In these tough economic times, special districts are becoming more important than ever to encourage new investment, support small businesses and even provide basic services in downtowns and communities.  Come and learn about different kinds of districts, how they can be best utilized, when you might need to use more than one special district, what the best uses for different districts can be in your community, and how you can use SIDs, BIDs, and GIDs to finance public improvements in your community. Strengths and weaknesses of each of these tools will be discussed using real-world examples.

Public-Private Partnerships for Employing the Next Generation, David Hicks, National Construction Institute of America. This session will focus on how to find the win-win strategy for sustainable inner city redevelopment by combining the resources and objectives of state and local government agencies, the Department of Education, the social services network, the nonprofit community, and private sector business interests. The session will highlight the National Construction Institute, whose pilot program is currently being launched in the Denver metro area, as an example of how these entities can work together toward the goals of youth engagement and retention and job creation.

Mobile Tour: Green Power & Local Renewable Energy. This mobile tour will highlight how Durango is successfully utilizing green power and local renewable energy, including innovations, awards and local programs.

3:00 PM Concurrent Sessions:

Downtown, Parking, and Pedestrians*, Kristin Cypher, Britina Design; Gavin McMillan, City of Louisville. As community gathering places that encourage walking and multi-modal transportation, historic downtowns are excellent examples of sustainable public-space investment. This session will focus on what makes a great downtown streetscape, how to get a streetscape project funded, and how to catalyze impacts of potential downtown streetscape improvements. This session will utilize the City of Louisville as a case study and will provide an overview of their Downtown Parking and Pedestrian Action Plan, which was completed to address downtown parking needs and pedestrian mobility challenges in such a way that maintains and enhances the unique character of Old Town Louisville. 

How Small Towns Produce Big Events*, Ken Coleman, City of Gunnison; Angela Damman, Salida Omnium; Mark Heller, Golden Urban Renewal Authority; John Messner, City of Gunnison; April Prout, Chaffee County Visitors Bureau; Karl Trujillo, Town of Mt. Crested Butte. Big cities and resort communities can easily manage a major sporting event, but what happens when a small downtown has the opportunity to stage an event that could draw a crowd three or four times the size of the town? Who is in charge? How do we raise the money and volunteers? Will it make money for the town? Large events can be intimidating for towns with a small population and corresponding budget and resources, but the economic impact and increased media exposure can be well worth the effort.  Representatives from Golden, Gunnison, and Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte will share their experiences a month after the August 22-28 USA Pro Cycling Challenge professional bicycling race.

Mobile Tour: Western Progress, Dave Anderson, DHM Design;Walker Christensen, DHM Design; Katie Nelson, DHM Design. This session will be a walking tour north along historic Main Ave and then back down the Animas River Trail to the Strater.  The tour will feature innovative and sustainable design features that have been incorporated into historic structures along Main Ave and in the downtown area, and have helped to strengthen Durango as a community.  Tour will highlight the Smiley Building, a depression era junior high school that has been transformed into a thriving community hub and center for the arts, and the Durango Discovery Museum, a renovation of the oldest surviving AC steam powerhouse in the world and now has new life as a children’s museum dedicated to science and energy.

5:30 PM Plenary

Governor's Awards for Downtown Excellence Gala, Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Train Museum.
Don't miss the highlight of the 2011 conference! This year's Governor's Awards will celebrate outstanding projects and people dedicated to community revitalization in Colorado. Plenary speakers will include Sam Mamet, executive director of Colorado Municipal League, and Reeves Brown, executive director of the Department of Local Affairs. Additional speakers to be announced. Gala tickets are included in the price of conference registration and are also available for individual purchase.

Friday, September 23, 2011

8:00 AM Plenary:

Trends & Tools for Growing an Innovative Business District in Your Community*,
Dr. Matthew Wagner, Nitro Development. Throughout history innovative changes in technology, along with consumer shopping trends have largely been to the detriment of "Main Street” businesses.  For the first time, creative tools designed to reach consumers, including up-and-coming Millennials, within reach of most entrepreneurs. In addition as the economic crisis of the last few years have negatively impacted consumer spending, hallmarks of "Main Street” businesses, such as trust, knowing the owner, and being local are now value-added attributes positively impacting the bottom line.

9:15 AM Plenary:

Youth Engagement Best Practices Panel, Dennis Hill, Julesburg Recreation Program; Shawna Hodge, Lamar Main Street/Little League World Series; additional speakers include representatives from Young Professionals of Durango and Durango Youth Council. This plenary will feature a panel of speakers from Colorado communities that have successfully implemented youth engagement programs from the high school level to young professionals. Learn practical strategies for investing in your community's youth so that your youth become invested in the community. 

11:15 AM Plenary:

Culinary Tourism for Towns of All Sizes, Erik Wolf, International Culinary Tourism Association. Ask anyone, and they’ll agree: "culinary tourism” is a sexy term. It seems that everyone is either a foodie or wants to be one. But, culinary tourism is not just for 5-star restaurants and high-end wineries. Culinary tourism includes a local pastry shop or an interesting bar on a nameless street that only locals know about. It encompasses cooking schools, cookbook and kitchen gadget stores, culinary tours and tour leaders, culinary media and guidebooks, caterers, wineries, breweries, distilleries, food growers and manufacturers, culinary attractions and more. Many destinations, especially secondary and tertiary ones, are looking to embrace cuisine as a new positioning tool. The good news is that more people than ever are seeking increasingly personal experiences of all kinds, including culinary. That said, you can’t just open a restaurant or print a restaurant guide and expect visitors to come. A lot goes into crafting your area into a culinary destination. Attend and learn the tricks of the trade, namely how to gather the ingredients to create a sustainable culinary destination. We’ll also take a look at other destinations that have done just that.

At the end of his session, Erik will draw two winners of valuable research reports published by the International Culinary Tourism Association. The first is the State of the Culinary Tourism Industry Report & Readiness Index (2010) and the second is the Global Culinary Tourism Readiness Index & Report (January 2012). The reports are valued at $495 each. You have to be present to win!

12:30 PM Closing

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