The Glenwood Springs DDA's mission is to create vitality for the downtown, its plans and projects include the following goals, strategies and tactics:
“Strengthen downtown as the retail/entertainment, office/government, and tourist hub of the area.”
For instance by finding a suitable site for a new Garfield County Branch Library downtown, the DDA ensured that the library would not move to an outlying area. In pursuing library sites, Colorado Mountain College joined the partnership in an opportunity to share space and ultimately secure a new and more efficient administration building.
"New parking lots and structures should be considered to ease the parking shortage in downtown as well as other strategies.”
Map of the Downtown Development Authority
With three new or enhanced locations for off-street parking — a new parking structure with 149 spaces, Colorado Mountain College underground structured parking for 65, and a reworked City surface parking lot adding spaces on Cooper Avenue — there are additional choices for public parking in downtown Glenwood. Much of the off-street parking is designed to accommodate downtown workers, providing choices to park off the street for the day; this helps maintain the on-street transient parking for shoppers and visitors to the downtown.
“Seed private investment with public improvements.”
The DDA, with the support of City Council, designed and built 18-foot sidewalks on Seventh Street, alongside the Colorado River. This project provided the opportunity for each restaurant in the two-block area to offer outdoor dining. As a result, many restaurant owners have renovated their buildings, expanded their kitchens, and created new amenities as an investment in future growth. After project completion, the tax base for the area increased close to 30%.
“Grow momentum with public/private partnerships.”
One of the DDA’s streetscape projects is the alley renovation between Grand and Colorado Avenues, and Seventh and Eighth Streets. The DDA buried utilities and resurfaced the alley for more attractive pedestrian circulation and outdoor dining. The adjacent property owner and the tenants of one of the buildings financed building improvements and added outdoor plantings, railings, tables and chairs to the alleyway.This is the first of many of the downtown core alleys to be renovated for active pedestrian use.
“Respect and embrace context.”
The DDA chooses its design and materials with consideration of the existing architectural elements in the city, aligning with Glenwood Springs' history and authenticity. This integrated approach to design and materials is incremental and adaptable for future projects as well.
“Manage to opportunities — versus limitations — to achieve potential.”
Partnerships leverage available funds for synergy, and allow the best and highest outcomes for the Glenwood Springs downtown now and in the future. The saying “the sum of the parts is greater than the whole” definitely applies here.
The Glenwood Springs DDA is a tax-funded district established in 2001. The DDA has several over-arching goals: It seeks to enhance and broaden the downtown experience for residents and guests through infrastructure, beautification, pedestrian access and connections to open space, views and river corridors. Revenues to the DDA are earmarked and used exclusively for the purposes of downtown vitalization. Additional funding sources include grants and municipal partnerships. The DDA district includes the area north and south of the Colorado River, east of the Roaring Fork River and west as far as Blake Avenue, with an emphasis on the commercial core of the city. The DDA is governed by a seven-member volunteer citizen board and reports to the Glenwood Springs City Council with its recommendations.