Downtown Grand Lake to be assessed
Ryan Summerlin January 17, 2013
GRAND LAKE – The Town of Grand Lake has announced the upcoming Downtown Assessment visit conducted by Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) on March 4 and 5. Local organization representatives, business owners, property owners, and residents are encouraged to participate in focus group discussions on March 4, and a public presentation on March 5. Those who may be interested in participating in the Downtown Assessment are encouraged to save the dates and watch for more details forthcoming.
The DCI Technical Assistance Program is designed to provide downtown enhancement technical assistance and economic development technical assistance to Colorado communities who desire to support small business, create partnerships, and develop and sustain viable and vibrant commercial corridors. The technical assistance is managed by DCI, through a unique collaboration between DCI and the organization’s private and public sector member volunteers who provide expertise and practical application from downtown districts throughout Colorado and the United States.
The Downtown Assessment is intended to engage different sectors of the Grand Lake community to better understand preferences for commercial district enhancement (retaining and expanding existing businesses; attracting new businesses), to provide recommendations for enhancing the our downtown while accentuating and celebrating Grand Lake’s community character, and to provide implementation strategies for a community-led enhancement program.
In preparation for the Downtown Assessment in March, a survey of Grand Lake area businesses is now underway. This survey will gather information and feedback on their perspectives of the current condition of downtown Grand Lake, how/if the marketplace is changing, the needs of existing businesses and what businesses the downtown market will support. The feedback from those businesses that complete the survey will be provided to the assessment team prior to arriving in Grand Lake for the Downtown Assessment and will be used by the team in the focus group discussions and report development. Any Grand Lake area business, commercial property owner or organization who did not receive a letter from the Town inviting them to participate in the survey and providing instructions on how to complete the survey may contact Town Hall at 627-3435 for more information.
Additionally, in preparation for the Downtown Assessment in March, a special showing of a webinar series titled ‘The 20 Ingredients of an Outstanding Downtown’ is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 21, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Grand Lake Community House. This insightful series featuring Roger Brooks of Destination Development International has something for everyone involved in downtown commerce in a destination locale such as Grand Lake. Any Grand Lake area business, commercial property owner or organization who did not receive an invitation from the Town inviting them to the showing may contact Town Hall at 627-3435 for more information. Since seating is limited and a light meal will be provided, RSVPs are required. If interest exceeds our seating capacity for the showing on Jan. 21, a second showing will be scheduled.
Since 2005, DCI has teamed with state and local agencies to identify how best to provide guidance and support to small businesses and other service providers that work in local business districts. Focusing on the current conditions in the downtown, a team of three to five professionals spends two days evaluating the community and facilitating focus groups to provide valuable information about the strengths and opportunities of the downtown, as well as creating the foundation from which a work plan can be developed.
Through the DCI technical assistance program, one downtown assessment visit, valued at more than $19,000, is provided to accepted applicant communities for much less cost. A majority of the team volunteers their services and the remainder provides services at a highly discounted cost. Additionally, grants from partner agencies contribute to reduce the cost to the local community.
The schedule for technical assistance visits vary, but usually includes a detailed tour of the community and a full day of focus groups with local government representatives, local organizations representatives, business owners, property owners and residents. The two-day visit will conclude with a report presentation to the public providing an assessment of the community as well as suggested action steps. Following a downtown assessment, a detailed hardcopy ‘to do’ list is provided to assist the community in building local partnerships and generating some quick wins to build momentum.
All organization representatives, business owners, property owners, and residents in and near Grand Lake who are interested in participating in the Downtown Assessment are asked to contact Town Manager David Hook (970-627-3435, firstname.lastname@example.org ) or Grand Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lisa Jenkins (970-627-3402, email@example.com ) or Grand County Economic Development Coordinator DiAnn Butler (970-725-3347, firstname.lastname@example.org ) by Friday, March 1, to learn more details about the focus group and public presentation times.
For further details on how the DCI Technical Assistance Program works, please visit their website at downtowncoloradoinc.org.