What's the occasion? It's the 6th annual HOLiDAZZLE promotion. That's 36 days (Thanksgiving to New Year's) of holiday
good times in downtown Durango.
There are 45 family-friendly events to enjoy. More than 50 retail merchants participate in the gift drawing. At least
100 bright-red posters hang in downtown store windows inviting shoppers to come in and register for a total of more
than $4,000 in give-aways.
Over five weeks, 20 full pages of promotion appear in the newspaper and list events and special offers for downtown
shoppers and diners. In short, the city, the Business Improvement District, the nonprofits, the event organizers, and
the 200 individual shops, galleries and restaurants are ready to welcome you downtown. Here's how to prepare for your
Close your eyes and imagine downtown Durango located in picturesque Southwest Colorado on a late, gray December
afternoon. The train whistle announces its return to station as the evening sky darkens (train smoke for western
atmosphere) as the last of the alpenglow (emotional marketing term) disappears behind the mountain. Large
crystal-like snowflakes begin to fall (keep imagining). As most of the street lights come on, the shop windows of
local merchants begin to glow with colored strings of lights and sparkling holiday decorations. (OK well, most of
The downtown work force blends into the 6 o'clock sidewalk crowd already a melting pot of train riders, skiers, cowboys, students, local shoppers (and a few Happy Hour inebriates). A car comes down the street (it's a Subaru).
The driver spots a parking space (keep imagining), and stops alongside a large SUV (definitely has out-of-state
plates) and begins a smooth backward serpentine motion as it parallel parks on historic Main Avenue (we allow three
attempts, and then a stunt driver will park for you). From the appropriately mud-splattered Subaru (they live on a
county road), two smartly dressed couples (blue jeans, puffy jackets and goober hats) emerge and head out for a
great time in downtown.
The truth is, our little community is not perfect, and right now times are a bit tougher than what we have been
used to. Yes, we're a little rough around the edges, but we like it that way. We may have some flaws, but they are
our flaws. This year, all of downtown stands ready to do our best, and it needs you to put some dazzle into our
slips up.) Nonetheless, there's much to choose from at all price points, and the downtown merchants would really
appreciate your business. And don't miss Noel Night, coming up Dec. 10, when more than 80 shops are open later,in-store refreshments are available and entertainment brightens up the holiday atmosphere.
Bob Kunkel is special events and business coordinator for Durango's Central Business District.