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Revitalizing downtown Woodland Park

Revitalizing downtown Woodland Park

WOODLAND PARK, Colo. - People living in Woodland Park can share their vision of what a vibrant downtown could look like.

Downtown Colorado Inc., a non-profit that takes a look at the downtown districts in our state, will be visiting Woodland Park on Monday (3/31/14) and Tuesday.

The mountain town along Highway 24 attracts tourists mostly during the summer, but people who live there and business owners say they'd love to see the downtown business boom.

At Joanie's Bakery and Delicatessen in the heart of downtown Woodland Park, one customer said, "The food is good. The service is good."

The owner said, "Business has been great," but business can always be better, even for her fellow business owners.

"Woodland Park has a lot of potential. It has huge community support," said owner Adele Faber.

Business owners like Faber and her loyal customers who live in Woodland Park have suggestions to make downtown the place to be.    

"We have a lot of breweries right now. So the wine and beer area is one that I think we can exploit a little," said Faber.

"One thing that a lot of people want is a YMCA or some sort of a rec center," said resident Irene Talaasen.

City leaders and the Woodland Park Arts Alliance also applied to be a certified Creative Arts District, as well as the Colorado Main Street Program. The city has until July to apply for that incentive. Residents and business owners say that could help them boost tourist numbers as well as give the city more money to revitalize downtown.

"It's a growing arts community and that's something that can be attractive and make people want to stop here," said Faber.

"That would be encouraging to the young people and we retired could encourage others, too," said Talassen.

A few shops down from Joanie's Café, Renae Trichell owns Brenda's Boutique. She's all about increasing Woodland Park's art presence.

"I also support local jewelry makers," she said. "I have a lady named Susan who hand makes [jewelry]."

Trichell has her own ideas to make the downtown better.

"Compared to say Manitou Springs we lack in that department as far as being able to come here and pick up everything you need," she said.

It's only the beginning, but Woodland Park could be on its way to becoming, "One of the most adorable mountain communities in the area," said Talaasen.

On Monday, residents and business owners can come to the Ute Pass Cultural Center, 210 E. Midland Ave., to discuss ideas that would improve downtown Woodland Park. Attendees on Tuesday will have the chance to tour the town and meet with government officials and local business owners and then return to the Cultural Center to hear the organizations findings and participate in focus groups.

Monday's event at the Cultural Center is at 7 p.m. and Tuesday's presentation begins at 6 p.m.

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