Colorado Downtown Excellence Awards is a dynamic platform that is constantly evolving to stay at the forefront of recognition and excellence.  Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) takes pride in offering Colorado communities the latest and most relevant categories to acknowledge outstanding achievements for downtowns and commercial districts. DCI is committed to staying ahead of the curve. Whether it’s disruptive events or pop ups, groundbreaking leadership, or cutting-edge workforce housing strategies, the Colorado Downtown Excellence Awards are committed to recognizing excellence in the most current and impactful areas of achievement.

In 2024, Downtown Colorado, Inc. and 9News will be presenting the Colorado Downtown Excellence Awards with a new category and video features from award winning communities.


2024 Colorado Downtown Excellence Award Ceremony Presented by 9News | April 4, 2024 | Durango

All nominees receive a ticket to attend the ceremony. The winners will be announced at the ceremony. 

The Colorado Downtown Excellence Awards presents recognition in six areas including awards for Partnership, Place, Plans, Projects, Pop Up Innovation and Person - Downtowner of the Year.


Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI), hosts the annual Colorado Downtown Excellence Awards to recognize and celebrate excellence in Colorado downtowns and commercial districts. The awards aim to honor organizations and individuals who have achieved remarkable success, demonstrated innovation, and made a positive impact in their respective communities with the hope that sharing these success stories inspires others to strive for excellence, set new benchmarks, and foster a culture of excellence.

The Colorado Downtown Excellence Awards provide a platform for communities and individuals to gain recognition on a state-wide scale. Being honored with a Colorado Downtown Excellence Award enhances a community’s reputation, builds credibility, and opens doors to new opportunities. It serves as a testament to the hard work, dedication, and talent of the winners, positioning them as leaders and influencers in Colorado’s downtown and commercial district community.

All nominated projects must be completed between August 1, 2021 and March 30, 2024. The nomination fee is $100 and all nominated projects must include a DCI Member on the project team. 


Please upload supporting documents and pictures to this Google Drive folder. Specify which items you would like highlighted on social media. If you have trouble uploading, please send to [email protected] 

2024 Colorado Downtown Excellence Awards

Submission Categories + Details

DCI’s award categories are broad and flexible to ensure they remain relevant and current in an ever-changing landscape. By keeping categories flexible, DCI strives to provide a platform that truly recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of communities and organizations across Colorado. Current categories:





Recognition for excellence in commitment to collaborating partnerships that encourage and foster knowledge, awareness, support of initiatives, and other stakeholders within the local community.  

Description of involvement with DCI and local community; photos from events and projects which resulted from partnership. One partner must be a DCI Member.

Impacts of partnership to downtown and community, how well the partnership achieved goals, and how well it incorporated into the local businesses and community. 

PERSON | Vicki Mattox Downtowner of the Year 

This award recognizes individuals who have shown exemplary commitment to their local downtown and community. Nominees encourage ongoing collaboration and teamwork benefiting the community.  

Biography of nominee, photo, description of volunteer role and accomplishments. Nominating entity must be a DCI Member.

Impact of volunteer work on downtown and the community. 


Recognition of excellence in the creation and/or renewal of public space which encourages a sense of place. the public space improvements enhanced the urban design, physical function or economic viability of downtown and the community.  

Description of site/area, photos of location and surroundings, photos of project process. Nominating community must be a DCI Member.

Relationship of public space to downtown corridor and the culture of the surrounding area, impact on the downtown, and the community.


Recognition of excellence in the creation of comprehensive, downtown-centric, and revitalization/renewal focused plan for the local community.  

Description of plan and efforts contributed to execute plan. Impacts of implemented plan on local community; photo of plan and plan location/area. One partner must be a DCI Member.

Impact on downtown, how well it considered local businesses and community, how well it achieved goals. 


Award recognizes excellence in exemplary commitment to the formation of projects which further enhanced and encouraged the integrity and potential of an area. The exemplary projects positively impacted the local community through commitment to the downtown, larger plan of the community, and overall culture and nature of the community where it resides.  

Description of site/area prior to project, impacts of the project on community; before and after photos of project location, and photos of surrounding buildings/area. One partner must be a DCI Member.

State of area before project, influence to the area, impact on community and downtown. 


Recognition for excellence and creativity in responding to the changing needs of the community. This category measures how communities have expanded projects outdoors, and have developed projects that have helped expand opportunities through placemaking innovation.

Description of pop up site/area prior to project, impacts of the project on the space and community; before and after photos of pop up location. One partner must be a DCI memberInfluence to the area, impact on community and downtown.


Participating in the Colorado Downtown Excellence Awards offers numerous benefits for communities and organizations alike. Key advantages:

    • Recognition and Prestige. Winning a Colorado Downtown Excellence Award is a prestigious accolade that enhances your reputation as an innovator around the state.
    • Increased Visibility. The awards program provides valuable exposure and visibility for your community, projects, and/or partners. It opens doors to new opportunities, partnerships, and collaborations, as state-wide downtown professionals take notice of your achievements.
    • Validation of Excellence. The Colorado Downtown Excellence Awards serve as a confirmation of your tireless efforts, unwavering commitment, and notable achievements. They provide external validation from experts across the state, affirming that you are not only excelling in your area of expertise but also making a significant and positive contribution to your communities / downtown districts.
    • Networking Opportunities. Participating in the awards program allows you to connect and engage with a state-wide community of public and private thought leaders creating networking opportunities that can lead to new connections, partnerships, and collaborations.
    • Learning and Benchmarking. The Colorado Downtown Excellence Awards offer a platform to learn from the best in the state. By studying and benchmarking against other exceptional nominees, you can gain insights, inspiration, and best practices that can drive continuous improvement and innovation within your community.
    • Team Motivation. Recognition through the Colorado Downtown Excellence Awards boosts team morale and motivation. It validates hard work and contributions, fostering a sense of pride and accomplishment.
    • Marketing and Promotion. Being a nominee or winner in the Colorado Downtown Excellence Awards provides valuable marketing and promotional opportunities. You can leverage the recognition to enhance your marketing campaigns, website, social media, press releases, and other communication channels.
    • Showcase your work. Participating in the Colorado Downtown Excellence Awards offers a wide range of benefits that can positively impact your community, partners, and organizations. It is an opportunity to showcase your achievements and gain the recognition you deserve.


To win a Colorado Downtown Excellence Awards, city’s / downtown’s must  demonstrate excellence and innovation in a respective category. Here are some steps that may increase chances of winning:

                • Familiarize yourself with the categories and criteria. Review the categories and criteria for the awards, and make sure your community, organization, or initiative align with the objectives of the awards.
                • Highlight your achievements. Clearly and effectively communicate the impact and results of your initiative, demonstrating how they meet or exceed the criteria for the awards.
                • Gather supportive material. Provide supporting evidence to back up your claims, such as testimonials, statistics, case studies, photos, and media coverage.
                • Make a strong application. Present a well-structured and professional application that effectively showcases your achievements and demonstrates how you meet the criteria for the award.

                Remember, the Colorado Downtown Excellence Awards are highly competitive and while there is no guarantee of winning, following these steps and presenting a strong application can increase chances of being recognized for your achievements.

                WHO MAKES THE AWARD

                The Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) team takes great pride in working with local DCI member community craftspeople to create a unique award every year. Each award showcases a local artisan and highlights the award winning title, community, and year. From the authentic design to the locally sourced materials used, every aspect is meticulously crafted to reflect the prestige of the Colorado Downtown Excellence Awards. 



                Meet the Award Winners from 2023 and learn more about their projects and efforts, here:

                Best Event 

                • Littleton Twilight Criterium | Town of Littleton 
                • Santa Ana Festival | Town of San Luis 

                Best Partnership 

                • Denver Action Partners Downtown Action Team | Consolidated Services Group, Denver  
                • The Terminal | Downtown Grand Junction 

                Best Place 

                • Platte Street Plaza | City of Denver

                Best Plan  

                • Downtown 2032 - The Path Forward: Greeley Downtown Plan Update | City of Greeley
                • Englewood Economic Development Strategic Plan | City of Englewood

                Best Project 

                • North Main Gateway URA - ACPO Townhomes | City of Durango
                • Vermijo Avenue and Sierra Madre Street | City of Colorado Springs 

                Vicki Mattox Downtowner of the Year

                • Paul Benedetti, URA Attorney
                • Susan Edmonson, Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs
                • Kimberlee McKee, Longmont DDA 
                • Jesse Silverstein, Development Research Partners
                • Carolynne White, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck


                Meet the Award Winners from 2022 and learn more about their projects and efforts, here:

                2022 Governor's Awards Flyer

                Best Pandemic Response for Business + Community Response

                • THE ROAD TO RECOVERY: The City of Englewood’s Economic Response to COVID-19 | City of Englewood
                • Love Frisco- Promenade, Grants, and More | Town of Frisco 

                Best Pandemic Response for Events

                • Downtown Trick-or-Treat | City of Fort Collins
                • Downtown Windsor Pandemic Response | Town of Windsor 

                Best Projects

                • Downtown Fort Collins Restaurant Week | City of Fort Collins
                • Block 64 Revitalization | City of Montrose 

                Best Partnerships

                • The Pueblo Levee Project | City of Pueblo
                • Granby ArtWalk | Town of Granby

                Best Places

                • 39th Avenue Greenway | City of Denver
                • A Step Back in Time: Fremont County National Bank | City of Cañon City

                Vicki Mattox Downtowner of the Year Awards:

                • Steve Art, City of Wheat Ridge
                • Troy Bernberg, Northland Securities
                • Krista + Tim Bush, City of Montrose
                • Jay Cimino, City of Colorado Springs
                • Jeremy Elliot, Town of San Luis
                • Brian Lujan, Town of Center
                • Dan Stauss, Windsor DDA
                • Kevin Tilson, Castle Rock DDA


                Meet the Award Winners from 2021 and learn more about their projects and efforts, here:

                2021 Governor’s Awards Flyer

                Best of Plans

                • East and East Central Area Plans - City and County of Denver Neighborhood Planning  Initiative, Denver 
                • Englewood Downtown Plan, Englewood

                Best of Place

                • Neon Alley, Pueblo

                Best of Projects

                • Apartments at Maddie, Greeley
                • Downtown Improvements Project, Steamboat Springs

                Best of Events

                • Virtual First Friday, Colorado Springs
                • ArtWalk: Murder on Broadway, Eagle

                Best of Partnership

                • All for Fall, Fort Collins
                •, Manitou Springs

                Best Pandemic Response - Outdoor Expansion

                • Weekends on Main, Littleton
                • Main St. Closure for Expanded Outdoor Dining, Louisville

                Best Pandemic Response - Partnership

                • Jefferson County and Municipality, Jefferson County
                • Glenwood Springs Pandemic Response, Glenwood Springs

                Best Pandemic Response - Financial Assistance

                • RiNo Art District Pandemic Response Initiative, Denver

                People’s Choice Award

                • Tipi the Town, Montrose
                • Streetscape Public Realm Masterplans, Denver

                Vicki Mattox Downtowner of the Year

                • Terri Takata-Smith, Downtown Boulder Partnership
                • Bill Shrum, Town of Eagle
                • Rody Slyhoff, Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce

                Colorful Colorado Award

                • Telluride Town Council and Staff


                Best of Plan

                • Alamosa Downtown Design Plan, Alamosa
                • Loveland Downtown Design Standards, Loveland

                Best of Place

                • Glenwood Springs 7th Street Enhancement Project, Glenwood Springs
                • Greeley Art Alley, Greeley

                Best of Project with Adaptation

                • The Windsor Mill, Windsor
                • Poudre Garage, Fort Collins

                Best of Project with New Building

                • The Foundry Loveland, Loveland

                Best of Partnership for Events

                • 2019 SOCO Tourism Summit, La Junta, Walsenberg, Trinidad
                • Englewood Block Party, Englewood

                Best of Partnership

                • Durango Renewal Partnership, Durango
                • Ready to Work Program, Boulder

                People’s Choice Award

                • The Windsor Mill, Windsor
                • Greeley Art Alley, Greeley

                Vicki Mattox Downtowner of the Year

                • Judy Ann Files, City of Montrose 
                • Marian Hollingsworth, Lake City DIRT
                • Rick Kron, Spencer Fane
                • Steve Art, City of Wheat Ridge


                Best Adaptive Reuse of Rehabilitation

                • Storm King Distilling Co, Montrose (2019)
                • The Exchange, Fort Collins (2019)

                Best Event, Festival or Recurring Activity

                • The MAIN Event, Durango (2019)
                • Canon City Music and Blossom Festival, Canon City (2019)
                • Chile and Frijoles Festival, Pueblo (2019)

                Best New Addition to Downtown

                • Terraza del Sol, Denver (2019)
                • Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, Silverthorne (2019)

                Best Urban Renewal Project

                • Pueblo Regional Tourism Act Project, Pueblo (2019)
                • Montrose Urban Renewal Authority, Montrose (2019)

                Best Use of Public Space

                • 40 West Artline, Lakewood (2019)
                • 8th Avenue Realignment, Garden City (2019)

                Dynamic District Award

                • Windsor, CO (2019)

                Vikki Mattox Downtowners of the Year

                • Brandon Stam, Grand Junction, CO (2019)
                • DiAnn Butler, Grand County Economic Development (2019)
                • Jackie Morlan, Bayfield, CO (2019)
                • John Desmond, Downtown Denver Partnership (2019)
                • Tara Marshall, Trinidad, CO (2019)
                • Sam Mamet, Colorado Municipal League (2019)

                Colorful Colorado Award

                • The Pickaxe Project - Ayers Associates & Colorado Main Street (2019)