As Durangos bears have come out from their dens, so has that other rare species. Durangoans have gotten out and are showing up everywhere in great numbers. Heres the proof.
Citywide sales tax is up for the fifth month in a row. The downtown was up 5.1 percent for the month of April and is up 4.7 percent for the year.
A new City Council steps up to the plate as Christina Rinderle takes over the gavel as mayor.
Passengers at the airport have been up by double figures for the last several months. Transit riders are up on the citywide bus system by 29 percent, and ridership of the downtown trolley is up 22 percent. International travelers in Durango to ride the train are up, and they can be heard throughout downtown.
Resident recycling is up with the last electronics collection reporting a record 90,000 pounds of recycled televisions and computers.
The Discovery Museum is now officially up and running on a daily basis. Several new businesses have opened or relocated in downtowns core, including Diane West and Sorrel Sky Galleries, Fired-Up Pizza, Cargo Home Furnishings, Sutcliffe Vineyards Tasting Room, Cowgirls, Durango Toy Depot, Clothes Horse and Durango Olive Oil Co., to name a few.
Downtown marketing efforts are up. The quantity of free Downtown Business Locator Maps was increased to more than 50,000 copies and distribution expanded to make maps available to travelers in hundreds of brochure racks within two-hour drives of Durango. The maps include a new QR (Quick Read) code that allows those with a smart phone to grab the code and pull up the map. The BID also has ratcheted up the amount of its downtown print and radio advertising including video ads at the airport and on trolleys.
The successful Durango wayfinding-signage program introduced in 2010 is being extended from the downtown core to the college. New signage directing people to the Fort Lewis College campus, Community Concert Hall, Center of Southwest Studies and Hillcrest Golf Course will be added to the Goeglein Gulch and Florida access roads. In addition, the city is putting up a series of 19 colorful light-pole banners up Goeglein in recognition of the colleges 100th anniversary and longtime partnership with the community. Both projects will be up in June.
Attendance at downtown events has jumped. Kicking off spring, the Durango Independent Film Festival and Bluegrass Festival reported strong attendance, while The Wine Experience sold 100 additional tickets, Soccer Shootout teams topped 100, and more than 30 restaurants participating in Taste of Durango helped the bottom line with a record $80,000 raised.
New event offerings are up. The Rochester Hotel introduced a successful Kentucky Derby event that was well-attended and raised money for the Durango Arts Center. Sign-ups are up for casual, after-work Bocce Ball games starting on June 8 in Buckley Park.
Whats up downtown? I can hardly keep up.
KunkelRA@ci.durango.co.us Bob Kunkel is the downtown business development manager for the city of Durango.