Trends Winter 2017 - Page 9

commercial districts within the context of historic preservation.” Currently 21 communities are members of the Colorado Main Street program. The program centers around helping communities help themselves by organizing community needs and ideas, in many cases resulting in a strategic plan to guide future work. Colorado Main Street provides technical resources and training to member communities. ‘Best Practices’ shape basic blueprint Ayres Associates, headed by its urban planning group, was hired by DOLA to create a Best Practices Snapshot that Colorado Main Street distributes to its members to guide their Main Street efforts. “The Best Practices Snapshot is essentially a tips and tricks for successful Main Street boards of directors to help them manage their programs,” said Matt Ashby, an urban planner at Ayres Associates. Ashby has a depth of knowledge on Main Street revitalization efforts, serving on the board of directors for the Wyoming Main Street Advisory Board for the past eight years. As part of this effort, Ayres also created short videos for training topics to provide yet another avenue to train the Main Street boards. The Best Practices Snapshot and training videos comprise DOLA’s board of directors toolkit, which is aimed at assisting Colorado Main Street community boards to become informed, engaged, and empowered leaders, said Johanna Jamison, Community Economic Development Specialist with DOLA. The toolkit serves as the basis for in-person, community-specific training and is structured in a way to guide this type of thorough, extensive training as well as allow for periodic refresher COLORADO MAIN STREET PROGRAM T he Colorado Main Street program is a part the National Main Street Center, a national organization whose mission is to promote historic preservation-based community revitalization across the country. According to its website, the statewide program is designed “to advocate and support a return to local empowerment and the rebuilding of central business districts based on each community’s unique architecture, character, and local ownership.” The program provides technical resources and training to member communities based on four areas of the National Main Street Center approach: economic vitality, design, organization, and promotion. Currently Colorado has 21 Main Street communities: Steamboat Springs, Lyons, Brush, Granby, Rifle, Meeker, Montrose, Buena Vista, Woodland Park, Victor, Westcliffe & Silver Cliff, Ridgway, Lake City, Trinidad, Lamar, Elizabeth, Leadville, Wellington, Windsor, and Central City. In 2016 the Colorado Main Street program led to the creation of 191 full-time jobs, 186 part-time jobs, and 121 new businesses throughout the 18 communities that then participated in Colorado Main Street. The program facilitated many physical improvements through public and private investment during 2016. These improvements included 157 facade updates and rehabilitations in all 18 of the communities. (Source: www.colorado.gov/ pacific/dola/main-street-data) – Tawny Quast AyresAssociates.com │9