Durango is a town of shiny bicycles and stunning stagecoaches. I can walk downtown and hear a variety of languages and accents. I see license plates from all over the country at the parking meters.
As the mayor of Durango, I have been meeting tourists downtown and thanking them for coming to Durango. I have met the family reunion group from Tyler, Texas, the family from Utah, the mommy and daddy with new baby from Kansas, and the northern California group – all on Main Avenue. What they all have in common is that they love our town!
The diversity I see daily in town, in our neighborhoods and in schools is a great testament that Durango welcomes all for a short time or for a lifetime. Budget Travel has recognized Durango as one of “The Coolest Towns.” Walking downtown with friends from Portland, I see Durango through their eyes. Cobalt-blue skies, friendly store owners, historic architecture and ribbons of color in summer baskets greet us as we amble down Main Avenue after a great lunch. As a longtime resident, I think I can name almost all of the current local business owners or tell a story about the days of Woolworths and Parson’s Drug Store.
North Main, College, Bodo and South Durango business owners make a difference every day in the lives of residents and employees. Three Springs is known not only for its medical community but also for its growing neighborhoods. Twin Buttes, set in a wooded neighborhood only a heartbeat from downtown, has magnificent vistas and local gardens. I think the diversity of housing and businesses makes Durango a “Cool Town.”
I remember the days of billboards in Durango. Durango has changed from a sleepy small community to a town recognized by Smithsonian and Sunset magazines. The change happened with planning, design, landscaping and input from residents and business owners. We all want the best for our friends and family. Durango is family to City Council. When there is a family celebration, a graduation, or a funeral, the community’s heart is always in the right place.
The council celebrates the Santa Rita Water Reclamation plant. That’s the official name of the sewer plant. It is on budget and on time. Lake Nighthorse has opened with terrific fishing and a jubilee of water experiences just two minutes from downtown Durango. Both facilities were a long time in planning and are now realities in Durango.
I think that’s cool!
For millions of people who have ridden the train, have climbed a mountain or have ascended a ladder at Mesa Verde, Durango is a special memory. Let’s keep making those memories special for future generations so that they too will say that Durango is the definition of “cool.”
Sweetie Marbury is the mayor of Durango, a position rotating among members of city council. Reach her at SweetieMarbury@DurangoGov.org.