Recent months and years have brought changes big and small to downtown Durango. But the special taxing district in place since the late 1990s which works to keep downtown and its businesses relevant to a changing economic, demographic and social landscape is still in place, and its officials hope to open a conversation this week about its work.
We all have the same goal, said Bob Allen, presiding officer of the Business Improvement District. Maintaining the economic viability of Durango.
Allen said a recent market assessment identified communication with constituents as a top priority for the organization going forward. So a town-hall-style brown-bag lunch meeting slated for Thursday will provide an opportunity for business owners and residents to hear updates on the districts planned activities and share their own thoughts and ideas for the future, he said.
This is not about us being a panel of talking heads, Bob Kunkel, BID executive director, said in a news release. Were counting on those in attendance to participate in the discussion.
The taxing districts board members will report on committee activities, including downtown business development, parking, special-event grants and marketing, officials said.
Its an opportunity for businesses to take advantage of changes and hear about past initiatives that have benefitted downtown entrepreneurs. For instance, a trial test last year in which a single downtown parking space was converted into a 15-bicycle corral was so successful, district officials said, that three additional businesses have requested an additional corral with a cost-sharing arrangement through the organization.
The meeting comes just as sales-tax revenues in Durango have begun to rebound, with downtown pushing the turnaround, district board members said.
The tax revenues were up nearly 9 percent in February compared with the same month last year, according to district documents. So far this year, sales-tax revenues have climbed more than 7 percent much more than the flat to 2 percent increase city and county officials were predicting as the year began.
Lodgers tax revenues in the city also rose in February compared with the same month last year, according to district documents. Those revenues were up more than 3 percent. And so far this year, there has been a 4.5 percent increase in lodgers tax collections compared with the same period last year.