Downtown Partnership and the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority were proud to co-host a Downtown Colorado Inc. conference focused on intentionally building downtowns to be prosperous, equitable, creative, and welcoming from May 12-15.
Over 250 people from across the state who – like those of us at Downtown Partnership – manage downtowns, commercial main streets, and city centers attended. Participants explored Downtown shops, restaurants, properties, and public spaces through a variety of walking tours, lunches, receptions, and late-night festivities.
The conference – originally scheduled for April 2020 – was a stellar opportunity to show off the growth and new businesses and developments occurring in the heart of Colorado Springs. It also was a prime opportunity to shine a spotlight on the entrepreneurs, architects, developers, merchants, artists, and others who are moving our city center forward.
The three-day conference featured nearly 50 dine-around lunch sessions, walking tours, how-to presentations and plenary talks – plus a special ribbon-cutting to celebrate a new Amazon sponsorship of PikeRide bike share. Below are the many local business and civic leaders who shared their knowledge through panels, tours, how-to talks and more.
We are so proud of the incredible talent and intriguing places of our growing city center, and wanted to share each of the places that were highlighted during the week.
DOWNTOWN WALKING TOURS
- “Transforming Spaces through Adaptive Reuse,” Ryan Lloyd, Echo Architecture; Troy Coats, Niebur Development (CO.A.T.I.); Julie Brooks, The O’Neil Group / Catalyst Campus
- “Rethinking Retail Square Footage to Optimize Experiences,” Derek Cohn, Zephyr Properties; Inherent Clothier; Morgan Calderini, Ladyfingers Letterpress; Don Niemyer, Story Coffee
- “Downtown Living: From Planning to Action,” Susan Edmondson, Downtown Partnership; Jay Renkens, MIG; Tracy Doherty, Norwood Development Group
- Art to the Rescue,” Michelle Winchell, Downtown Partnership; Jerry Cordova, City of Colorado Springs
- “Form-Based Code: Creating a Better Urban Environment,” Chelsea Gondeck, Downtown Partnership; Ryan Tefertiller, City of Colorado Springs
- “Law & Disorder History Stroll” and “Black History Tour,” Meg Poole, Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
Tours venturing just outside Downtown included:
- Gold Hill Mesa: Building a Smart Community From the Ground Up
- Ivywild Tour & Tasting, an Urban Renewal project
- Avenue Creative Circuit of Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs
- “Curating Artisan Retail and Marketplaces,” Peri Bolts and Ani Trejo Barrington, Eclectic Co.
- “Pop Up Shops: Tips to Make Them Work and Make Them Last,” Katie Frank, Downtown Partnership
- “Creating Curated Experiences to Draw New Patrons Downtown,” Katy Houston, Downtown Partnership
- “Creating a Collaborative Coffee Culture,” Don Niemyer, Story Coffee Company
- “Thriving Retail for the Next Generation,” Carrie Baker and Leah Riehl, Terra Verde; Hailey Sardey and Cara McQueeney, The Local Honey Collective
- “Leading With Your Values,” Darsey Nicklasson, DHN Development; Bobby Mikulas, Kinship Landing
- “Fostering a Climate for Social Enterprise,” Jonathan Liebert and Stacy Burns, National Institute for Social Impact; James Proby, The Men’s Xchange; Emily Ross, Yobel
- “Caring Approaches to Chronic Homelessness,” Shelley Jensen, Working Fusion at Mill Street tiny home village; Kayla Rockhold, Pikes Peak Library District; Aja King, CSFD Homeless Outreach Program
- “Building a Festival Street From the Ground Up,” Jeff Finn, Norwood Development Group; Ryan Phipps, City of Colorado Springs; Lauren Ripko, Studio Q
OUR THANKS TO…
- The Mining Exchange (host hotel)
- The Antlers, Hyatt Place & Kinship Landing
- The City of Colorado Springs
- Visit COS
- Gold Hill Mesa
GE Johnson for sponsoring a reception at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum, where Mayor John Suthers welcomed guests. Thanks also to 291 Distilling and Bell Brothers Brewing for their contributions towards the receptio