Apr 1, 2014 1:38 AM by Maddie Garrett

Plans to Boost Economy, Community of Woodland Park

Woodland park is looking to change its economic outlook by working together on a new program called the Main Street Initiative. It's a national program community leaders hope will improve the mountain town.

"We have all the right elements for success," said Tweed's owner Tanner Coy. "Now we just need something to help us bring all of those together and coordinate."

Coy and other business owners and leaders are on board with the program. Seven Arrows Gallery owner Ralph Holloway is also tasked with starting a new creative arts district in Woodland Park.

"We need a more vibrant community here, we need more businesses," said Holloway.

People in the community are getting involved too by going to public meetings being held Monday and Tuesday night at the Ute Pass Cultural Art Center.

"I think it's a good idea," said Woodland Park resident Matthew Allen.

But taking Woodland Park to the next level economically is no easy task. Currently economic leaders are working to fill up some of the vacant spaces on the main drag.

"Sure this is a big task, anything that's worth doing is not going to be done in a short period of time," added Holloway.

That's where the Main Street Initiative comes in. The national program has helped in cities across the country, by helping communities get organized and ready to bring in new investors and capital.

"Main Street is an effort that basically shows the region, the community, that we have our fiscal act together to be able to move forward with new growth and development ideas," explained Brian Fleer, the City's Office of Economic & Downtown Development Director.

Allen said as a long time resident of Woodland Park, he thinks the organization and collaboration are some of the most important keys to success.

"But I think it takes a concerted effort, people really working together, saying what are we going to do economically for the community," said Allen. "It's been real scatter shot I think in a lot of ways up until now.">

The focus group meetings being held Monday and Tuesday are a first step.

"Trying to get the community to come together obviously, is always a challenge no matter what you do, I think we've gone past that hurdle," said Holloway.

The Main Street Initiative team is putting together a city assessment and will have a final presentation to community leaders and the public on Tuesday at 6:00pm at the Culture Center.



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