Downtown planners come together in DowntownCS for inspiration, education

 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.


Tours venturing just outside Downtown included:


  • “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




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