New group to focus on downtown Glenwood Springs |

New group to focus on downtown Glenwood Springs

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” A new partnership has been formed with a focus of enhancing downtown Glenwood Springs.

According to Tom Fleming, the Downtown Partnership’s program coordinator and president of area nonprofit Institute for Civic Achievement, the partnership will work to revitalize Glenwood’s downtown core using strategies that have been successful in towns and cities around the country.

The group’s success in Glenwood will depend on the participation of the community, he said.

“The main thing is that the program is really only effective if there is community participation,” Fleming said. “Because the community and the downtown need each other. They can’t exist without one another.”

The new partnership differs from the Downtown Business Association, which exists for the sole benefit of the businesses, providing a secondary value for the community, Fleming said. In contrast, the Downtown Partnership is an organization for businesses, but it also seeks involvement from citizens and educational institutions and other community support.

“It really is a partnership between the entire community,” Fleming said.

Currently, Fleming’s Institute for Civic Achievement is a sort of mentor for the organization, he said. A steering committee has been formed with five business owners, including Nancy Page, manager of the Main Street Gallery and president of the partnership board; Steve Pittman, owner of Fine Things Jewelry; Sandy Swanson, co-owner of Good Health Store; Chuck Campagna, owner of Campagna Insurance; and Erin Zalinski, owner of TreadZ shoe store.

The partnership will work in connection with other community organization members, including City Councilwoman Shelley Kaup, who will represent the city of Glenwood Springs; Charlie Willman, representing the Downtown Development Authority; Gretchenn DuBois, representing the Tourism Board; and Mandy Murray, representing the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association board.

Promoting downtown businesses with a website and a newsletter will be among the partnership’s approaches, Fleming said. A feature of the website will list available downtown properties with specific information about them and owner contact information.

The group is looking at how to use new social networking technologies like Twitter and Facebook to promote downtown businesses and popular summer events.

A slew of summer events are also in the works, Fleming said. Merchants will be invited to participate in the events and there are plans to create a downtown retail promotions event.

The overall objective, Fleming said, is to fill vacancies, boost the vitality of downtown, contribute to the community overall, and entice people to enjoy downtown amenities that are already available.

The organization will hold two open forums ” on April 21 and 22 in Glenwood Springs ” for anyone who’s interested. The gatherings will introduce the Downtown Partnership and its mission to the businesses and residents of the downtown core, and the community as a whole.

The forums will open with information on the evolution of the Downtown Partnership; organizing board members and community liaisons will be introduced.

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