2016 was another busy year for the Durango Business Improvement District.
BID implemented new programs, continued existing work and created new items for 2017 to better serve the commercial property owners and businesses in the Central Business District and on North Main Avenue.
BID managed seven events in 2016.
Random Acts of Kindness Week was done in partnership with Bank of Colorado and rewarded people for shopping in downtown Durango with gift cards. Downtown Clean Day was organized by BID, the Durango Chamber of Commerce and the city of Durango, and helped clean up downtown before summer started. July 4th events were organized by BID with financial support from the city of Durango and a sponsorship from Alpine Bank. The San Juan Brewfest set records for attendance and for the proceeds generated for United Way of Southwest Colorado. Labor Day weekend featured three days of activities for locals and people visiting the area over the long weekend. Children’s Halloween was also done in partnership with the chamber, as well as downtown business Southwest Sound. Singing with Santa was held the Friday after Thanksgiving, and was attended by nearly 1,000 people.
BID partnered with the city on the flower barrel program, where 100 businesses were recruited to host a flower barrel this past summer.
BID is a key partner in the Durango Welcome Center, along with the city, the Durango Area Tourism Office and Fort Lewis College. The Welcome Center is on pace to have nearly 130,000 people come through its doors this year.
BID’s largest expense is in marketing and communications. BID revamped its website, which now is mobile responsive and includes a business directory. BID created print, radio, television and online ads throughout the year to promote various happenings and activities. BID managed a grant program, funded in part by the city of Durango, which supported 11 events in 2016 with cash grants to augment the events’ out-of-area marketing budget. The grant program helped bring over 10,000 people to Durango for these events.
BID’s newest programs worked to mitigate panhandling in the downtown area. Nearly $1,000 was donated by people visiting downtown to support local charities that serve the homeless through a BID campaign. BID also created, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, an ambassador program to help people feel welcome in downtown. Ambassadors spent a collective 600 hours in downtown this past summer and interacted with at least 3,600 people, helping them find what they were looking for while visiting. BID hired a homeless outreach coordinator to help people in need access local services.
In 2017, BID plans to repeat just about everything it did in 2016 but also will take on sidewalk cleaning through the purchase of a gum removal machine. Watch for us to be shining up the sidewalks when it gets warm enough next spring. BID will also put some of our marketing power into sidewalk sales downtown to encourage more local shopping. BID will continue to work with the city on the Character District Assessments and redevelopment plans for Camino del Rio and North Main Avenue corridors.
email@example.com. Tim Walsworth is the executive director of the Durango Business Improvement District.