The state organization for downtown managers whose business is downtown economic and social vitality is known as Downtown Colorado Inc., or DCI. Last week, the association held its annual conference here in Durango.
Officially, the sponsoring organizations were the Business Improvement District, the Durango Area Tourism Office and the city of Durango. The Strater Hotel was the host hotel with several events and break-out sessions held at the Durango Arts Center and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum.
As part of the agenda, several mobile tours were offered of our local breweries, the award-winning Transit Center and a culinary safari through downtown restaurants.
From the perspective of the attendees, the conference was the best-attended in many years, the seminars and speakers were exciting and relevant, the social functions perfectly planned and the weather spectacular.
The bottom line is that Durango shined, and everyone who worked on the conference received a continual flow of compliments about our exciting downtown, our friendly people and our vast array of quality amenities.
OK, had enough gush? Is this just public-relations spin?
The real story is that Durango did hit the ball out of the park and set a new high standard for future conferences.
Why? Because downtown Durango works, and Durango people are willing to work together. We heard numerous questions such as: How do you get Organization A to cooperate with Association B as well as with your city?
We all experience downtown from our own perspective. Many of us love it so much we never leave, and those who leave are thrilled to come back.
We live it, so we may not notice it, or we may not appreciate it, but downtown Durango works.
As humans, when things are going well, we are compelled to find something to complain about, and we always do seem to be wrestling with what we think are big problems. Actually, most of what we complain about are mere inconveniences and annoyances.
Notice above the number of local organizations, local businesses and local people who unselfishly worked together to make this conference a success. We repeat this over and over again with Snowdown, the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, July Fourth, the motorcycle rally weekend, Noel Night and all of the more than 100 events that happen annually. Were a team.
Dozens of Colorado residents left Durango wondering, How do they do that? For those Durangoans with the impression that our local organizations overlap and/or do not work well together, those perceptions couldnt be farther from the truth.
Teamwork works, and it is hard to get and easy to lose.
So go ahead and add teamwork to the list of Durangos assets and attractions.
Oh yes, I was in charge of the weather.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Bob Kunkel is the downtown business development manager for the city of Durango.