DCI 2022 Wrapped
Is it just us or has this year flown by? Maybe it was the return to normalcy or just that we’re getting older. This year was DCI’s 40th Anniversary and we were so happy to celebrate like it was 1982 with many of our favorite communities, members, and friends this year. We have worked on so many special projects in the past 40 years and we are so happy to serve Colorado communities and building downtowns that are prosperous, equitable, creative, and welcoming. We are honored to work with all of you every year and this one was another for the books!
Reinvesting in our community and ourselves
When it comes to a milestone like this year, it’s time to reflect. This year, we worked on reinvesting in the organization and improving the systems and services that we provide to our members. As you know, we are so busy DO-ing that it was important to reinvest in the important structures that make it happen as well. Similar to how our members reinvest into their communities every day! We kicked off this year by kicking off our new website. This revamp allowed us to organize all of the resources we have in a way that makes sense for you to access and add a bunch of new pictures showing off our members beautiful faces and places. Check it out here! A very important part of this process was shifting to a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System to manage our membership. We expanded what was possible for our membership and improved our ability to keep up with you. We are still working out some kinks so if you have any questions about your membership, contact Bill Shrum at [email protected]. Pssst… current members get 10% off their membership if you renew now! Contact Bill as well for more info about this opportunity.
Tiny Town discussions had a BIG impact!
Last year DCI began its newest program: Tiny Towns. The Tiny Towns program convenes town leadership from communities with less than 1,000 population to provide resources and empower Colorado's tiniest towns towards success. We were so pleased to see the group grow throughout the year with Tiny Town leaders referring other Tiny Towns to the group. This group truly showed the value of collaboration and peer support which is the spirit of Colorado and our DO-ers here. We hosted discussions throughout the past year with topics ranging from understanding what stores work in small towns, to grant applications and management, and public private partnerships for redevelopment opportunities. The towns also shared resources regarding helpful grants, agencies, and support networks for each other. It has been a truly special program for all of us.
IN THE GAME back again and better than ever!
DCI’s 2022 IN THE GAME Vibrant Downtown Event was a huge success, April 12-15, 2022 in Colorado Springs. The event connected local leadership and downtown champions to make great strides in the work of community and economic development and making Colorado’s downtowns great places to work, live, and play. DCI loves to connect with our Downtown Do-ers, people in their communities who are working hard to get stuff done.
IN THE GAME | By the Numbers
- 300 Players
- 37 Sponsors
- 73 Speakers
- 23 Dine Arounds
- 13 Tours
- 8 How-to Talks
90% of respondents ranked IN THE GAME EXCELLENT
- + on the Fun-o-Meter
- + for Quality and Variety of Topics
- + or Opportunities to Network, Learn about Best Practices, and Generate Ideas to Get Stuff Done
DCI received very positive responses to all key elements of the annual event, including Keynote Speakers, How-to Talks, Challenge Studios, Dine Around Lunches, Tours, and Combined Lunch + Tours. Each component brings a unique aspect to DCI’s IN THE GAME event which keeps players coming back for more every year. Here is what an attendee had to say
“I left more committed and confident about the value of current projects I am working on and made great connections. I thought this was one of the best conferences I have ever attended. Great topics, presenters, and you offered very creative ways of fostering dialogue.”
“It was very helpful to me to hear from different perspectives as well as the opportunity to get out and see what other towns are doing and get ideas that I can take back to my local organization and try and implement those”
Downtown Colorado, Inc.’s (DCI’s) signature annual event will be hosted in Loveland, the original Colorado creative, historic district. The 2023 event will include the components you have come to love (see details from 2022 below) with some exciting new idea building additions. DCI is now accepting IN THE GAME SPONSORSHIP and PARTICIPANT REGISTRATION applications. Sign up by December 31, 2022 to access the largest discounts!
TIF All-year Every Year
Tax Increment Finance, you know it, we love it. We spend all year educating URAs, DDAs, and BIDs from around the state about how TIF can be used as a tool for good to shape your community vision. This year, we presented a series of trainings solely surrounding TIF education: TIF 101 & 201. These trainings meant for urban renewal staff, board members, and partners considered how best to maximize impacts of tax increment financing in downtown and redevelopment projects. These trainings built one on the other to review how the tool works, how to work with partners and best practices that guide the use of TIF in Colorado.
Some dynamic TIF events are annual and build and show off great projects and practices from around the state. First, we have our Mobile Tour partnership with Colorado Municipal league showcases BIDs, DDAs, + URAs in their element, right in the middle of their community! This year, we visited Boulder’s and Longmont’s Downtown as well as a very cool URA project at the old sugar mill. Finally, our year culminated in the Annual TIF Housing Summit in Pueblo. In 2022, the TIF Housing Summit was a dynamic networking and problem-solving event to move redevelopment from planning to action. The event was a journey visiting with the private sector developers, the nonprofit housing partners, and the range of tools and alchemy of financing that it takes to get it done. You can see the blog from the event here! As always, our monthly URA and Districts calls keep everyone informed in between events.
DCI was also really active working with DDAs and URAs through board retreats, strategies, and action planning. We have been to all ends of the state and have new reports to share from Grand Junction, Louisville, Eagle, Center, and more! Check out the new information in both our Resource + Case Study Page and in our URA + District Resources.
For more information about joining our BID, DDA, or URA membership network, contact Bill Shrum at [email protected].
Busy, Busy DCI DO-ers
While we focused on making our annual events the best they have ever been, we were working hard behind the scenes in many of our communities. There are too many amazing projects to mention as we really were all over the place in Center, Eagle, Grand Junction, Frederick, Louisville, Huerfano + Las Animas Counties, Minturn, Pawnee Pioneer Trails Byway, San Luis, and more! We wanted to highlight some of the work we have been honored to be a part of in these communities. DCI has been happy to work with the Pawnee Pioneer Trails Byway in the Northeast for the past couple of years with a focus on updating their Corridor Management Plan this year. It has been wonderful to visit these communities and even help to bring some more color to the Byway with a collaborative mural on the Great Western Sugar plant in Fort Morgan.
DCI was so happy to help many communities consider how to form organizations to make their downtowns more engaged, vibrant, and sustainable. DCI has worked with Eagle since their 2019 Challenge Studio to form a DDA and create all of the necessary reports. Serving as the DDA staff has been an exciting process and we are happy to continue working with them in 2023! Next the team worked with the Louisville Revitalization Commission (LRC) Board to assist in facilitating a strategic process for the Downtown Louisville urban renewal area to establish an action plan to maximize on urban renewal projects for the remaining years of the downtown urban renewal area. We also helped with community visioning for Frederick and Parker. We look forward to working with these communities and many more in 2023!
Case Study Crazy!
Often, we are so invested in the work that we forget to document all of the great accomplishments of the communities and the work we have done. This year, in the theme of reinvesting, we created several new case studies to showcase great examples of community work. The Town of Center has been partnering with DCI since 2018 as a Challenge Community and has made significant tangible steps towards improving the quality of life of their residents. Early initiatives included correcting budget shortfalls, hosting placemaking events with DCI (resulting in six vacant downtown buildings purchased by new owners), and making infrastructure improvements necessary to support both current residents and future growth. Every year since then, DCI and Center have continued to evolve their partnership focusing on a strategy that includes holistic development and engaging people and resources through diverse methodology to meet the Town of Center’s needs through planning and adaptability in objective areas. Read the Case Study here! Another aspect of our case study development is doing research into different models for land management and investment into our communities. Through this work we have developed case studies around Co-Ops + Land Trusts. We are hoping these case studies will help communities consider these options more develop new precedents. Read them on our Reports + Case Studies page here.
Stick with us in 2023!
The work never stops but we are so grateful to be a part of all of the amazing things going on in our communities! No matter how long you have been involved with DCI, this year or for 40 years (looking at you, Paul Benedetti) we have loved getting to work with you. We are always evolving, adapting, and inventing so we hope you will be a part of it in the future 40 years!