Happy 2018 to all! The Durango Business Improvement District (BID) staff and board of directors are hard at work on our 2018 plans.
We are very excited to partner with the city of Durango on an upgrade to all the downtown lighting. The historic lamp posts downtown have first-generation LED bulbs in them. They are about eight years old, and the housing on each lamp has become very cloudy over time. It is estimated each is only producing about 40 percent of its original brightness.
BID and the city are partnering to replace the housing and bulbs on all 131 lamps located in downtown. The new housing will be brand new and clear, and the new bulbs will be the most current on the market. We want downtown to be brighter, and it will be noticeable to everyone when this project is complete.
At the same time, Durango has a dark skies ordinance. Plus, there are residences and hotel guests on the second and third floors of buildings who do not need bright lights outside their windows. With this in mind, the new housing will keep the light on the sidewalks and streets, preventing it from escaping upwards.
Watch for this project to start in the spring and to be completed by the time summer starts.
BID’s Ambassador Program has been well received in its first two years. In 2018, the program is getting a makeover. First up will be new uniforms. Look for our ambassadors in a bright red uniform starting this spring.
Because of financial support from the city and the Durango Chamber of Commerce, the program will also add 200 more hours of work this year. This allows ambassadors to start working in March instead of June. The busiest months for downtown are June, July, August and September, so the ambassadors’ schedules will be aligned with those busy times. Ambassadors will also work a little in October, and then on key days in late November and in December for the holiday shopping season.
BID is also excited about redevelopment opportunities on north Main Avenue and on Camino del Rio just west of downtown. Both of these corridors are in the BID boundaries, and both will have their Character District analysis completed in 2018. The city’s Character District projects are a great way to define what an area can be in the future, which should lead to changes that will encourage the kind of redevelopment we need in the heart of our town. BID will be working closely with the city to finalize the plans, and then will begin promoting north Main Avenue businesses in new ways.
2018 is going to be yet another busy year for BID. All of the work, including these new programs and projects, are part of our effort to be the place to go for anything and everything related to downtown and north Main Avenue. Please visit our website at DowntownDurango.org to learn more, sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Tim Walsworth is the executive director of the Durango Business Improvement District. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.