• 10/14/2020 11:47 AM | Carly Mazure (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. 


    COLORADO BROWNFIELD PARTNERSHIP SERVICES AND RESOURCES


    CASE STUDIES


    Silverton

    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. 


    Outcomes:


    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:

      


    TAKEAWAYS

    • 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.

    ABOUT THE PRESENTERS

    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

  • 09/17/2020 10:19 AM | Kylie Brown (Administrator)

    The COVID-19 Pandemic struck the world in early 2020 and resulted in a shutdown of the state of Colorado on March 25, 2020. The stay-at-home order not only impacted University of Colorado at Denver (UCD), but dramatically effected retail businesses, restaurants, community events, and other vital main street institutions that drive the economy of our state. A cross-section of these impacts comes into play when Randy Harrison’s ‘Economic Development’ class (PUAD 5630) and their partners Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) shifted their work with five Colorado communities entirely online and helped transition these communities into the recovery process.

    ‘Economic Development’ is hands-on and innovative course that utilizes Colorado as a laboratory for understanding economic development concepts and strategies. Students not only get experience with community development but they also gain real-world experience working in partnership with DCI to assist communities throughout Colorado in addressing economic development challenges. Students worked with town leadership and stakeholders to create action plans to respond to COVID as well as plans for their economic futures. The goal of the program is to turn challenges into opportunities.

    The City of Durango was selected to work with this group early in the year as a DCI 2020 Challenge Community to address the challenge of “Creatively Financing Development”. As the pandemic emerged, DCI was able to quickly adapt to virtual community meetings and the plan for Durango turned to developing a strategic approach to slowly reopening of the community to ensure economic viability of re-opening their economy once and responsibly.

    UCD SPA Student Coordinators, Erin Guthrie and Connie Liu developed the material and were key in managing the discussion around reopening. Here are their testimonials from the experience:

    "It was a great learning experience working with Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) and Alex Rugoff and Scott Shine from City of Durango. Though our class did not go as planned because of Covid-19, I really appreciate the opportunity to understand the struggles the community was facing.  I'm glad we were able to come up with steps to safely reopen.” – Connie Liu

    "Downtown Colorado, Inc (DCI) provided the support and resources needed to navigate the challenges of Economic Development during the COVID-19 era. During the 2020 Challenge Studio, we were able to pivot to support Durango as they worked towards a safe reopening. DCI ensured that the right questions were being asked and empowered the collaborative network of La Plata County stakeholders to work together. This experience was truly one-of-a-kind and offered a hands-on opportunity unavailable in many classrooms. I would recommend the class to anyone even remotely interested in economic development, as it has the power to foster that interest into a passion.” – Erin Guthrie

    During a two-hour Virtual Studio Workshop on April 15, 2020, the City of Durango and DCI brought together presenters to provide a framework for considering a reopening strategy that included Public Health and Economic Development perspectives. The Virtual Studio Workshop included two breakout sessions where participants brainstormed ideas for a reopening plan, including key audiences, sectors, and metrics as well as recovery and reimagination of vital Durango industries like education, tourism, retail, and hospitality.

    Alex Rugoff from The City of Durango remarked this following the process, “Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) and the School of Public Affairs’ (SPA) Student Coordinators played an integral role in La Plata County’s economic recovery. Student Coordinators Connie Liu and Erin Guthrie brought community leaders together during our Challenge Community Virtual Studio Workshop to plan for a safe and efficient economic reopening.  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 and SPA students to get involved in DCI’s Challenge Community Program.”

  • 09/08/2020 7:29 AM | Magdalena Sowder (Administrator)

    Watch the full presentation on Vimeo!

    Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) and the Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC) are pleased to announce a month of education and conversation around the Gallagher Amendment to the Colorado Constitution. DCI and EDCC have formed a partnership to establish and present educational content to build awareness and informed action around the Gallagher Amendment in advance of the November election where the repeal of the Gallagher Amendment is on the ballot.

    On Wednesday, September 2nd Reeves Brown began Gallagher Education month with an overview of the Gallagher Amendment. Watch the full presentation here!

    Be sure to stay tuned for our upcoming Gallagher Education Month events:

  • 07/30/2020 3:49 PM | Carly Mazure (Administrator)

    Downtown Colorado Inc (DCI) had our seventeenth webinar of the series covering various topics on the commercial district response to COVID-19 and how people can support each other while maintaining the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. Thursday’s call focused on how businesses can expand to outdoor spaces to better serve the community.


    Some of the key concepts and topics for discussion included:

    • Street closures for creating more outdoor spaces

    • Building strong relationships with businesses

    • Transforming outdoor spaces for use during colder months

    • Rethinking urban design with Colorado Parklets


    Olde Town Arvada Business Improvement District 

    Joe Hengstler, Executive Director of the Olde Town Arvada Business Improvement District started us off with an overview of how Olde Town Arvada has reinvented its dining and retail experience. He stressed the importance of working closely with businesses to figure out the best way to ensure they thrive. Street closures allowed twenty Arvada restaurants to expand outside with 88% of businesses reporting an increase in customers. A focus on public art initiatives and music has ensured that Olde Town Arvada will continue to be a vibrant community space in the time of social distancing.


    City of Golden

    Robin Fleischmann, the Economic Development Specialist for the City of Golden, talked about Golden’s outdoor business expansions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses expanded outdoor dining onto sidewalks and parking lots adding their own personal touch to the barriers provided by the public works department. Golden experimented with street closures, but ultimately businesses preferred that the streets stay open. There is no one size fits all solution to navigating public spaces during this time, so it is imperative that municipalities and businesses work together to develop a solution that works for the community. 



    Colorado Parklets

    Maggie Kavan of Colorado Parklets shared their innovative parklet design, and how businesses can customize parklets to fit their needs. The parklets are ADA compliant, easy to install, and can be adapted to withstand winter temperatures and precipitation. The cost for each parklet starts at $3,500 and has the opportunity to be funded by a Streetscape Challenge grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation. 


    Colorado Parklets Website


    QUESTIONS + ANSWERS


    Is the Olde Town Arvada BID planning for the fall and winter months?

    The current street closures expire September 7 and we are looking to get those extended through October to match what Denver is doing. We are also in the process of working on a plan for the winter months. 


    What is a parklet?

    A sidewalk extension that repurposes part of the street into a community space that is ideal for following social distancing guidelines. 


    What size parklets do you offer?

    Standard sizes are 8 x 8 and 10 x 10, and custom sizes can be configured to accommodate your space.

    ABOUT JOE HENGSTLER 

    Joe Hengstler is the Executive Director of the Olde Town Arvada Business Improvement District. Joe graduated from Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL with a BA in sociology in 2008 and began his work in the non-profit sector with a focus on event planning, fundraising and development with a focus on assisting underserved communities. After relocating to Colorado in 2011, Joe returned to school to pursue a Master’s in Global Affairs from the University of Denver, graduating in 2015.

    Joe has been with the Olde Town Arvada BID since 2017. He is a tireless advocate for community engagement and downtowns while delivering meaningful results for small businesses. When Joe is not in Olde Town, he enjoys playing music, getting out in the great outdoors, and spending as much time as possible with his wife and new daughter.

    ABOUT ROBIN FLEISCHMANN 

    Experienced economic development executive with a demonstrated history of working in governments, economic development organizations, and consulting. Skilled in Urban Planning, Transportation, Corporate Social Responsibility, Nonprofit Organizations, Philanthropy, and Fundraising.

    ABOUT MAGGIE KAVAN

    Maggie Kavan is Co-Founder of Colorado Parklets, a Denver native and 5th generation native to Colorado.  Maggie has lived in Durango for 21 years and is the owner of ConsciousMKTG, a full-service marketing agency.  She and her business partner Michael Carrier created Colorado Parklets to help revive the beloved small businesses and restaurants of every community in Colorado and around the US.  Together we will recover from the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the impact it has had on our communities.

    7/23 COVID Call Video



  • 07/20/2020 8:56 AM | Carly Mazure (Administrator)

    Lessons from an Egg Farm: Increase Your Revenue, Have More Free Time, and Get More Customers Using Accelerators

    I recently interviewed an owner of a chicken farm who used one piece of advice that improved their production and efficiency by 1500%.

    Best of all, what she learned is directly applicable to every business. Even yours.

    I want to tell you about my daughter, Jenna, and her Kansas farm which has about 1,200 egg-producing chickens. The eggs from Jenna’s chickens are all given away to hungry people through the non-profit she created and each month, she provides hundreds of dozens of farm fresh eggs to people in need.

    Needless to say, I’m one proud Dad.

    But this story isn’t just my chance to brag about my daughter. This story has a profound lesson in it for every one of you.

    When Jenna first started out with her non-profit chicken farm, she did everything by hand. The chickens all roam around in coops (150 feet long and 24 feet wide) eating grain and drinking water. When she started, the water for the chickens came from 8-gallon watering containers which had to be filled with a hose, and then, carried into each coop, with 3-5 waterers per coop. (Each waterer weighs over 65 pounds). Jenna did that. She also had to pour grain into the feeding troughs, and then, go around to the 30 nesting boxes (where the chickens laid eggs), and collect each egg individually.

    After collecting the eggs in buckets (at the beginning, about 140 eggs a day), Jenna would haul the eggs to the sink, individually candle the eggs (that’s chicken-talk for checking for cracks), and then, hand scrub each egg to make it clean, finally putting each egg into a carton and labeling each carton. For 140 eggs, it took her about 6 hours of work every day. As the chickens laid more eggs and Jenna added more chickens, her days grew longer and longer, all the while feeding more needy families.

    But a funny thing happened that changed everything: The guy who provided the metal for her first chicken coop was named Marvin, and one day Marvin mentioned to Jenna that during his weekend, he helped collect 14,000 eggs at his father-in-law’s farm.

    That got Jenna’s attention and she asked Marvin some questions. Turns out Marvin’s father-in-law (Andy’s his name), had an automated egg production facility over in Missouri.

    Shortly thereafter with Marvin’s help, Jenna traveled 3 hours away to Missouri to see Andy’s farm. And when she got there, she saw Andy’s automated conveyor belts that carried eggs from the nesting boxes into a separate egg cleaning room and a machine that thoroughly cleaned each egg, all automatically. She also saw how Andy’s coops each had automatic waterers (no need to haul 8-gallon containers of water), and automatic grain feeders (no need to haul grain and pour it out), and instead, an auger pulled the grain from a grain silo directly to the chickens, all by flipping a switch.

    Andy willingly shared his knowledge and expertise and most importantly, the mistakes he’d made over the years that now allowed him to process thousands of eggs in a day. And shortly afterwards, Andy helped design a smaller, similar system for Jenna’s coops and that system was installed this Spring.

    Now, with this investment in her business and the time she put in to learn all the new processes and machinery and reconfigure every part of her egg production business, she took a tremendous leap forward, all because of Andy sharing his expertise of what worked and what didn’t.

    If you’re interested in statistics, Jenna went from feeding, watering, collecting, cleaning, and packaging 12 dozen eggs in 6 hours at the beginning of her business to doing all the same processes with over 1,200 chickens, but now she can process over 62 dozen eggs in 40 minutes by herself. A 1,500% increase in efficiency.

    But here’s the lesson: None of this increase would have been possible without Marvin mentioning Andy’s name and Jenna being inquisitive and asking more, and Andy taking the time to take Jenna through an eye-opening introduction into efficient egg processing.

    And finally, Jenna questioning how she was doing business and wondering if it could be dramatically improved.

    The key in all this was Andy. Andy was the Accelerator. Andy shared his knowledge, mistakes, experience, and processes with Jenna and helped her see a vision for her non-profit and what was possible to accomplish in a fraction of the time she was spending, all enabling her to help hundreds of more people every month with free food.

    Wouldn’t it be great if you could discover your own Accelerators for your business?

    Well, guess what? You can!

    3-Days of Accelerators: Sign up for our Online Destination BootCamp

    I know you’re busy and you don't like shameless plugs, and I know it’s the holiday weekend, but hear me out: Unlike most business classes you might have taken, I teach a class that is filled with business Accelerators: Real lessons from successful business owners who I’ve studied, who I’ve picked their brains, and lucky for me, these brilliant entrepreneurs shared with me how they got to where they are today.

    This class is my Destination BootCamp. In my newest version of the Destination BootCamp, I show you my entire 14-step process to make your business irresistible to consumers that I learned after interviewing over 10,000 business owners.

    Best of all, in our upcoming 2020 BootCamp classes, I’ve totally rewritten each chapter to add techniques and steps that will help you generate more sales and attract more customers to your business, even during this Covid-19 pandemic when people might not be coming in to your business in the same numbers or frequency.

    Lucky for me, I have met owners who were unafraid to share their secrets and success strategies with me, who were unafraid of me sharing it with others who might need their lessons.

    Plus, now my Destination BootCamp can all be taken online: No need to travel to Colorado, stay in a hotel for 3 nights, get on a plane and all the other issues that make traveling and sitting in a room filled with people not the best idea these days.

    We have a Destination BootCamp class that starts this Tuesday, July 7. I still have 3 seats left. But you have to register by Saturday night if you want in.

    Then, this year, we also have Destination BootCamp classes on September 1-3, and October 27-29, if you want to attend later in the year.

    Think about it and email me directly at js@jonschallert.com if you want to learn more, or if you want to read about the BootCamp or register, just go to www.DestinationBootCamp.com.

    OK, onto a new topic:

    ATTENTION ALL COMMUNITY LEADERS, HERE'S A CLASS FOR YOU:

    I want you to think about becoming a Facilitator for our Destination Creation Course

    If you don’t know about our Destination Creation Course, it’s a shortened version of my Destination BootCamp class described above. You can read all about it here: www.DestinationCreationCourse.com

    If you would like to help your local business owners, we are looking for people who can lead my Destination Creation classes.

    The Destination Creation Course was started last August, and we now have 53 trained Facilitators of our Destination Creation Course in 19 states and the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada.

    Here are the states where we DO NOT HAVE Facilitators: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.

    We also DON’T have Facilitators in the other 8 Canadian provinces that aren’t Alberta and Saskatchewan. (If you're in Canada, you know who you are).

    I’m listing all of these states and provinces because we’d love to have a minimum of one (1) Facilitator in each of these locations. We can take more than 1, but we’d like to at least get 1 in each of these States and Provinces.

    If you or someone you know in your community would be great at helping business owners with an entirely new class that can help them grow their businesses, learn about the Destination Train-the-Trainer class (the class you have to take to become a certified Facilitator -- next class is July 28-30). You can also see and learn about our current skilled team of Facilitators and what others have said about the Destination Creation Course by going here: Click here to learn more.

    And remember, if you have any thoughts, questions, or if you just want to say hello, email js@jonschallert.com.

    Thanks!

    Jon Schallert
    The Schallert Group, Inc.
    Info@JonSchallert.com
    303-774-6522


  • 07/02/2020 10:26 AM | Katherine Correll (Administrator)

    Improvising for Public Health and Art in the Time of COVID-19 

    Hand Sanitizer Barrel Art 

    Tom Quinn, Executive Director, Alameda Corridor Business Improvement District.  

    The City of Lakewood created the Alameda Corridor BID (ACBID) in 2003 to help revive and improve the area from Sheridan Boulevard to Carr Street.  Our priorities historically included street beautification, economic development and corridor safety.  The ACBID service area includes the heart of Downtown Lakewood with the centers of Belmar and Lakewood Commons along with several smaller shopping centers. 

    At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic our district believed public hand sanitizer stations were one way to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and increase public confidence in returning to public spaces to shop and dine.  However, we soon discovered that commercially made hand sanitizer stations were on 6 months back order and hand sanitizer was in short supply.  It was time to bring on the innovation!  

    Our Programs Manager Sarah happened to have a teenage son working for a company called Recycled Mat-ters that sold, among other things, repurposed 55-gallon drums.  We quickly pivoted to figure out how the drums could be fitted with hand sanitizer dispensers and decorated.  I contacted local handyman Nate Wightman to ask if he had any ideas for a design.  Within a few days he came up with using plastic PVC sprinkler valve boxes as housings for the hand sanitizer bottles.  The bottles would be secured inside the housings with a padlock.  

    We also had to solve the problem of finding a supply of hand sanitizer.  We heard Lakewood’s Ballmer Peak Distillery was making hand sanitizer and contacted them.  They quickly agreed to supply the hand sanitizer, bottles and pumps.  

    Next, to make the barrels into fun works of art we teamed with Valerie Saverie, the owner of Valkarie Gallery in the Arts on Belmar, also known as Block 7.  We proposed recruiting a team of local artists to paint the barrels with artwork of their own designs.  In a matter of days, she recruited a team of 18 local artists and developed a schedule for painting the barrels on the sidewalk outside her gallery.  The plan required precise timing to have the barrels delivered, primed, painted and deployed.  We set aside two days to get this done. 

    We primed the barrels on June 17 and 18 and the artists came in shifts to paint them. The result was 30 steel drums with hand sanitizer dispensers on top painted with a wide variety of colorful designs. The barrels were picked up and distributed in the major commercial centers.  Area residents responded immediately with complements on the artwork and hand sanitizer!  

    This project is an example of how improvisation and team-work can have great results for a community.  By working together, we created something both functional and decorative to improve the environment and help reduce the spread of COVID-19. ACBID is happy to share this idea with other districts, including the design for the dispensers.  For more information please contact Tom Quinn, tom@alamedaconnects.org, (303) 274-1807. 

     

     

  • 06/30/2020 8:19 AM | Carly Mazure (Administrator)

    Downtown Colorado Inc (DCI) had our thirteenth webinar of the series covering various topics on the commercial district response to COVID-19 and how people can support each other while maintaining the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. Thursday’s call focused on funding opportunities and a helpful guide for outdoor expansion. 

    The June 25 call focused on helping communities move business outdoors. The speakers Sophie Shulman, from Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Cheney Bostic, StudioSeed provided resources to help communities plan for different types of spaces. Sophie shared two grant opportunities from CDOT. The funding is available for main street revitalization and encouragement and promotion of teleworking. Both grants are on a rolling application basis which allows for timely distribution. Cheney Bostic of Studioseed shared a friendly business guide for outdoor expansion tactics which included multiple options for varying contexts, design ideas, and helpful resources. After Cheney shared the guide, we heard from attendees who shared some of their reopening experiences and what adaptations were being made as well as what challenges they are facing.

    DCI was pleased to showcase resources for funding ideas from Sophie Shulman, CDOT and outdoor expansion tactics from Cheney Bostic, Studioseed. 

    CDOT GRANT OPPORTUNITY
    CDOT has a new grant program to support public health and active transportation. The grants are varying sizes and will provide communities with the ability to improve the built environment in a way that is especially needed to encourage social distancing with safe and healthy transportation and outdoor dining and business. 

    Revitalizing Main Street
    The Revitalizing Main Street grant helps with the revitalization of main streets and adaptation of varying tactics which have been highlighted during the reopening of downtown businesses and restaurants after the initial stay at home order due to COVID-19. The Revitalizing Main Street CDOT grant has a rolling application process. 

    Safe & Flexible Communities
    CDOT will soon be releasing the grant application for Safe & Flexible Communities which will include microgrants of up to $5,000 to local communities and nonprofits. The grants will help add capacity to encourage and promote continued teleworking. The grant has a rolling application process and applications will soon be available. 

    CDOT Grant applications and instructions 

    FRIENDLY BUSINESS GUIDE FOR OUTDOOR EXPANSION TACTICS
    A Friendly Business Guide for Outdoor Expansion Tactics was put together by Cheney Bostic of Studioseed for the town of Lakewood and can be adapted to any community. The guide includes various layouts and settings with a selection of options for each, design ideas, and resources. 

    The layouts include:

    Main Street Context 

    • Repurposing On-Street Parking

    • Repurposing a Street

    • Repurposing an Alley and Rear Parking

    Shopping Center Context

    • Repurposing On-Street Parking

    • Repurposing Off-Street Parking

    Drive Thru Context

    • Repurposing Off-Street Parking


    The guide includes outdoor design ideas of seating, parklets, and street/parking barriers, designated alcohol area, physical separation/distancing, planters/landscaping and more with consideration of price and permanence. After the design options there is a list of resources of Colorado-based companies as well as online tactical urbanism materials helpful for outdoor expansion .

    A Friendly Business Guide for Outdoor Expansion Tactics

    COMMUNITIES’ REOPENING EXPERIENCES
    Following the sharing of the outdoor expansion guide, attendees from various Colorado communities shared their experiences with outdoor expansion and some of the solutions as well as challenges they have faced.

    Denver
    Denver restaurants are exploring the idea of expanding into adjacent alleys but there are varying factors that need to be considered. The factors include safety, and fears of cars quickly turning into alleys. To mitigate the fear, there are ideas of ensuring there is clear signage and portrayal to vehicles on the street that may want to turn into the alley that they won’t be able to.  Another factor being considered for opening into alleys is the presence of smelly dumpsters and grease traps which would negatively affect customers’ dining experience. To mitigate this, there are ideas of ensuring there is buffer space between the diners and the dumpsters, as well as a possibility of controlling the air to send the smell away from the diners. 

    Retailers are looking at partnerships with businesses and nonprofits to expand outdoors. On 14th and Ogden nonprofits are partnering with retailers and a yoga studio. The nonprofit partner will hold the liability insurance policy which makes expansion easier for the retailers and yoga studio. 

    Golden
    Golden has barricades, which they have adjusted as they have been able to observe pedestrian and downtown movement during the weekends. Restaurants and businesses have had the opportunity to decorate the barriers if they would like. Golden closed down Washington Avenue, which is one of their main downtown streets for two weekends. They found that people didn’t like it, so they allow vehicles on the road and use barriers between the moving vehicles and seated customers for expanded outdoor restaurant space and business. Golden is also in the process of expanding outdoor restaurant space into Miners Alley which has 3 restaurants that share the alley. 

    Greeley
    Throughout reopening, there has been some disagreement over closing certain streets with fears in ease of accessibility. Greeley implemented a good neighbor agreement which needs to be signed if there is an objection in closing the streets. The agreement comes up with solutions for everyone involved, and makes sure everyone is comfortable with the situation. The agreement includes contact options for people to call if they need certain access to the closed street and that it can be adjusted specifically for that purpose. The purpose may include moving someone’s mattress or helping somebody bring their groceries in.


    QUESTIONS + ANSWERS
    Are there any communities that are thinking of the outdoor expansions as potentially permanent?
    There are communities that are definitely considering it, or at least seeing it as a potential seasonal opportunity. 

    Does the DOLA grant money/application that is currently available online for outdoor expansions as well, or is that money yet to be determined?
    Here is the online information for the DOLA grant: DOLA Information 


    ABOUT CHENEY BOSTIC
    Cheney is a professional consultant with 15 years of experience in the fields of architecture, urban design and planning. Cheney works with communities of all sizes - from visioning “big ideas” to implementing complex projects. Cheney has worked on urban design projects throughout the United States, with a focus on the Mountain West and West Coast communities. Her passion lies in urban infill projects that respond to an existing context, corridor projects that seek to transform over time, and transit-oriented development projects that add value to underutilized land. An overarching goal in all of Cheney’s projects is a desire to increase quality of life for residents and inspire action.

    ABOUT SOPHIE SHULMAN
    Sophie Shulman, who began her career as a presidential management fellow, served as acting director of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration in the Department of Transportation (DOT) from November 2016 to January 2017.Shulman is from Seattle, where she graduated from the Lakeside School in 2006. She then went east for college, earning a B.A. in international studies in 2010 and an M.A. in American foreign policy, international economics from Johns Hopkins University in 2011. In April 2013, Shulman took a job in the White House as deputy press secretary and executive secretary for the Domestic Policy Council, moving up to deputy press secretary in November. In July 2014, Shulman was named the council’s deputy chief of staff. She moved to DOT in June 2015, first as a policy adviser in the office of the secretary, then, in April 2016, as senior policy adviser. While at DOT, Shulman worked on the Smart City Challenge, in which medium-sized cities were given the opportunity to come up with plans for integrated efficient transportation systems optimizing technology and data.

  • 06/24/2020 2:17 PM | Will Cundiff (Administrator)

    Western Slope Reinvestment | Post COVID-19 Workshop

    On June 18th, 2020 Downtown Colorado Inc (DCI) held a workshop on how commercial districts (URAs, BIDs, DDAs) have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. The workshop featured discussions and updates from local leaders from across the Western Slope including Durango, Montrose, Grand Junction, and Glenwood Springs on how district development tools are demonstrating their worth in the recovery and response efforts.

    Sallie Clark, USDA Rural Development, opened up the workshop by providing updates and information on how Colorado’s USDA Rural Development State office is helping Colorado communities recover economically from the COVID pandemic.  USDA is making available up to $1 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses and agricultural producers supplement their working capital to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the economic impacts of the coronavirus. Find more information here: Business & Industry CARES Act Program.

    Western Slope Reinvestment Partners | Snapshot Presentations

    Brandon Stam, Director of Downtown Grand Junction, began this portion of the workshop with an overview of how Downtown Grand Junction (the umbrella organization for DDA and BID) have been dealing with the pandemic. Downtown Grand Junction worked with the City to enable free parking and curbside pickup for businesses. Downtown Grand Junction also started a gift card promotion: spend $25 at a downtown business, and the DDA would send you a $10 gift card for that business. This promotion leveraged $70,000 of spending at downtown businesses. This led to partnerships with neighboring towns, Palisades and Fruita on promotions as well. Downtown Grand Junction has worked to get Colorado Creative Industry micro-grants for street art, expanding downtown dining areas and expanding downtown parklets.

    Alex Rugoff, City of Durango, and Tim Walsworth, Downtown Durango BID, discussed Durango’s recent URA formation, how public/private partnerships are critical to incentivizing community investment, and how districts can support downtown economic recovery during a pandemic. Durango used a robust community outreach strategy to garner support for their URA formation. City staff wanted to educate people and hear feedback from the community on development needs. For example, the local school district, 9-R, recognized the value of tax increment financing to promote affordable housing projects that would benefit their workforce and supported the formation of the URA.

    Tim Walsworth broke down Downtown Durango BID’s COVID pandemic strategy for supporting downtown businesses by creating a local task force. Downtown Durango BID installed physical design elements such as bump-outs, closing lanes, and closing parking spaces to help attract people to visit downtown businesses. The task force created the “Bump Outs for Businesses Program” and led focus groups to pick areas downtown where bump-outs could be used for restaurant space. The effort, in partnership with the City of Durango and CDOT, led to 30 businesses getting bump-outs; reduced Main Ave from four lanes to 3 lanes; traded 50 parking spaces for 11,000 sq. ft. of space for businesses to operate in.

    Chelsey Rosty and Ann Morgenthaler, City of Montrose, closed out this portion on how the City of Montrose utilizes a “Main Street Approach” with its Development and Revitalization Team (DART). The cornerstones of DART’s approach to Main Street are vision, design, promotion, economic vitality, and organization. DART leveraged a $52,000 DOLA loan to create an opportunity zone downtown and updated physical design elements. In 2019, 11 new businesses were opened and 8 “quick win” projects (such as tables and seating in the downtown plaza) were completed

    Western Slope Leaders Discussion | Case Studies

    This portion of the workshop featured a quick look at how the financing mechanisms of DDAs, URAs, and BIDs have worked for different Colorado communities. This led into three interactive small group discussion based on the case studies presented.

    Matt Ashby, director of the Windsor DDA, gave a snapshot of Windsor’s DDA (created in 2011). There is a mill levy (5 mills) as well as a sales and property TIF in place for the DDA to fund projects. The Windsor DDA is focused on development and “catalyst projects” rather than events. Matt looked at “catalyst projects” that are used to jump the tax increment, so that a DDA can invest in the community overtime.  Projects include the Hearth Restaurant and the Windsor Mill project..

    Maureen Phair, director of the Arvada URA, discussed how to use an urban renewal tools to promote development in downtowns. This includes TIF, property acquisition, and the importance of partnerships with local governments, organizations, state governments, and other taxing districts. Check out the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority here!

    Western Slope Leaders Discussion | Start, Stop, Continue

    This portion of the workshop featured Western Slope municipal leaders as they share updates on what their communities are doing in response to COVID in a Start, Stop, Continue format style of discussion. Leaders included Bill Bell, Montrose City Manager; Greg Caton, Grand Junction City Manager; Dean Brookie, Mayor of Durango and Jenn Ooton, Assistant City Manager of Glenwood Springs.

    Bill Bell, Montrose City Manager

    • Start: Marketing and communication improvements have been made via partnerships with businesses, the Montrose Office of Tourism, and City Staff. This will continue after the pandemic.
    • Stop: Currently on hold with a few capital investment projects, however these will come online as time goes on.
    • Continue: The City and URA will continue to be aggressive, yet responsible, with economic redevelopment. Outreach to community to show how development positively impacts the Montrose community.

    Greg Caton, Grand Junction City Manager

    • Start: Bridging the information gap with increased communications with local leaders, businesses, and the community (daily virtual meetings). Partnership with business community for economic relief via sales/use/lodging tax deferments which put cash back to businesses (immediate cashflow). Marketing and promotions for local restaurants. Rental and mortgage assistance programs for businesses ($500k).
    • Stop: Pause on several infrastructure projects along the Colorado River Front. $11 million general improvement district to work on creating a safe river front for public use and to spur private development at the Las Colonias Park.  $13 million of public investment to help spur $80 million of private investment for outdoor recreation manufacturing.
    • Continue: Work with DDA to utilize public space and “relax” rules to help allow for an innovative approach to more public space in Grand Junction.

    Dean Brookie, Mayor of Durango

    • Start: The formation of the URA in early 2020 to help spur development that benefits the community, such as housing.
    • Stop: Paused a few infrastructure projects.
    • Continue: Keep up the “grand experiment” of increasing public space for pedestrians and businesses. This is a great opportunity to test out different ways to make downtowns even more pedestrian friendly.

    Jenn Ooton, Assistant City Manager of Glenwood Springs

    • Start: Public space designs to increase access for pedestrians and give businesses ways to function during the pandemic. Bump-out, parklets, etc. Small-scale lot activations for business use (DDA owned land). In the final stages of completing a river front restoration project to allow for greater public river access. Providing PPE to businesses to give to visitors and patrons.
    • Stop: Streetscape engineering project for 16th St has been paused but will be revisited. Paused a master-developer 12-acre lot along the river but will revisit in 2021.
    • Continue: Communication with businesses to make sure everyone is on the same page.  Increased focus on including the Latinx community members and businesses in meetings and community participation.

    QUESTIONS + ANSWERS

    Grand Junction- How are you tracking and running the gift-card program? How labor intensive is the program for staff?
    There is an online for people to post image of receipt, and then staff will mail the gift card. It has been labor intensive, however staff normally focused on event planning have been able to work on this program temporarily. The gift card vendor is EML. Check EML out here.

    Glenwood Springs- How did the City and DDA work with Glenwood Springs Beer Garden to allow for alley access and parking lot activation to server alcohol?
    The City leased the alleyway to the brewery, and it will be used for emergency vehicle access. They are not using it for public use. This allows the brewery to have a clear connection from their business to their parking lot, which allowed for them to expand seating into parking lot.

  • 06/16/2020 9:18 AM | Carly Mazure (Administrator)

    Downtown Colorado Inc (DCI) had our twelfth webinar of the series covering various topics on the commercial district response to COVID-19 and how people can support each other while maintaining the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. Thursday’s call focused on creative event adaptations and tools communities have used during the pandemic.

    The June 11 Call focused on Events Post-Covid 19. Colorado’s commercial districts, whether supported by chambers of commerce, business improvement districts (BIDs), downtown development authorities (DDAs), or other entities are struggling with fundraising and community building as social distancing requirements limit the way we gather as a community. The dialogue during the June 11 call brought together different leaders from different sized communities to share ideas and get the creating juices flowing. 

    DCI was pleased to showcase ideas for virtual events as well as in-person events. DCI highlighted a unique event concept developed by Brian Corrigan, the Farm to Spaceship Dinner, which was an innovation bringing together a restaurant, bartender, florist, two graphic artists, and a DJ to create a take out dinner and dance party on Mars. John Moore  from Splashmob provided the DCI call participants with a demonstration of the new Splashmob app, but also highlighted the Farm to Spaceship Dinner with this new tool. DCI then presented two northern Colorado community leaders, Melody Christensen from Brush! Chamber of Commerce/Main Street to talk about their process of determining to do a Fourth of July Cavalcade since they are unable to have their traditional parade; and Bianca Fisher from Greeley Downtown Development Authority (DDA) presented Greeley’s Friday Fest which has gone virtual. Other communities who were on the call shared adaptations they are making as well.

    Some of the key concepts and topics for discussion included the process for building more:

    • Extended outdoor space for events and business;

    • Virtual Events to engage and raise awareness and funding; 

    • Drive - in Movies and Concerts and how this can work;

    • Bike events and diving into who is working on these areas.

    June 11 Events Post-Covids 19

    As a part of DCI’s resources, each week we make the presentations, links to partners, and highlights of the discussion available. Please review in more detail some resources from this week’s call. 

    Splashmob
    Splashmob allows you to display your content on the phones of anyone that attends your live event and connects to your splashmob experience. Create a mobile show, and display it on the phones of anyone that connects to the show without the audience needing to download an app. 

    Splashmob is customizable depending on what you would like for your event, and it has a variety of features that show up on event attendees’ phones including videos, pictures, poll questions, animations, colors, a selfie feature, and more. 


    For more information and/or a demo, contact info@splashmob.app 

     



    FARM TO SPACESHIP DINNER IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE
    The Farm to Spaceship Dinner is a unique take out dining experience in Denver created by Brian Corrigan. The experience incorporated collaboration from a restaurant, bartender, florist, two graphic artists, and a DJ. The dinner is a multicourse meal which comes along with an instructional video which helps carry out the space theme. The experience was available for three Friday sessions and participants picked up the kits at Somebody People in Denver. 

    Farm to Spaceship


    EXTENDED OUTDOOR SPACE

    Brush
    Brush will be having a Fourth of July Cavalcade instead of their traditional parade. The cavalcade will ensure that everyone participating in the experience will stay in their vehicles and there will be no throwing of candy or water balloons. The route of the cavalcade has been expanded by 8 blocks to provide more space for social distancing, which includes passing a school and church which both have large parking lots. Brush will have their traditional art walk which expands from the library to the museum and has space to ensure people will be practicing social distancing.  

    Brush Events

    Florence 
    Florence usually has their annual, well-known wet and dry parade for Fourth of July. The parade consists of two blocks, with one block being the dry block and the other one being the wet block. People on the wet block get soaked by fire trucks and also have water guns. To adapt with Covid, Florence is looking at the possibility of vastly extending the route to go into residential streets and main street to allow people to practice social distancing. 

    Florence Fourth of July Plans

    Old Colorado City
    Old Colorado City has come up with the event Red, White & Cruise for the 4th of July which will feature a classic cars cruise through closed streets. The closed streets allow for expanded seating so people can practice social distancing. 

    Old Colorado City will also have a special event Father’s Day weekend which will include a sidewalk sale and a chalk art fest. Some streets will be closed for the Father’s Day weekend event as well so people can practice social distancing.


    VIRTUAL EVENTS

    Greeley
    Friday Fest is a well attended, regular event Greeley has during the summer which kicks off additional fun community events and concerts. Greeley has a common consumption area where the events usually take place. 

    Greeley has now launched virtual Friday Fest to support local creatives that normally would be able to showcase their talent and work at the in-person events. Greeley has continued to see support for the virtual events from regular sponsors, which has then in turn been able to support the local creatives as well as the recording studios that are being used for the virtual Friday Fests.

    Greeley Events

    Paonia 
    Paonia is planning a virtual storyfest which will include writers, poets, and local musicians. The event will have virtual workshops, speakers, readings and performances. The storyfest is a two day event on Friday, June 26th and Saturday, June 27th. The keynote address will be given on Friday by award-winning author-adventurer Craig Childs followed by a full day of workshops and performances from talented faculty on Saturday, this celebration of wordcraft will provide inspiration and instruction for writers and lovers of literature alike. 

    Paonia Blue Sage Center for the Arts StoryFest 


    DRIVE IN MOVIES

    Centennial 
    Centennial has planned Wheels & Reels which is a community drive in movie event, which is scheduled for June 18th and June 25th. The drive in movie allows for gathering in a social distancing manner. There will be an empty car space between each car at the event, and it is a ticketed event so there is a regulation in the number of cars. Centennial encourages event attendees to support local restaurants before the drive in movies and to bring the locally purchased food and snacks with them to enjoy. 

    Centennial Wheels & Reels

    Wheat Ridge 
    Wheat Ridge usually has movies in the park series during the summer so they have adapted it to be a drive in movie series.  


    QUESTIONS + ANSWERS

    Are there any stats regarding the benefits for businesses from the virtual Friday Fest? Have businesses seen an increase in sales revenue?
    Greeley doesn’t have stats yet since this past Friday was the first virtual Friday Fest, but there is definitely room to grow the integration with local businesses and encourage Friday Fest attendees to support local businesses as well as special promotions. 

    Bike riding has increased during COVID-19. Is anyone doing a bike-in event or ride-in bike event? 
    Lakewood has previously offered quirky bike history tours, and are planning on continuing them this year since they are done in small groups, and turn out well with small groups.

    Wheat Ridge usually does bike cruiser rides in small groups, so they are planning on continuing those this year as well.

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