Mainstreet Steamboat Springs to roll out several changes in new year | SteamboatToday.com

Mainstreet Steamboat Springs to roll out several changes in new year

Shoppers stroll through downtown Steamboat Springs.

— Mainstreet Steamboat Springs will ring in the new year with a new website, a new logo, new programs and some attention from the National Main Street Center.

Steamboat Springs is one of three communities in Colorado selected to participate in a National Main Street Center pilot program that will test a “revamped” approach to the Mainstreet program.

Mainstreet Steamboat Springs program manager Lisa Popovich said the pilot program will ultimately help the city’s downtown advocacy group “get to the next level.”

Steamboat was selected to participate in the program because its Mainstreet program is a top performer in the state.

As part of the program, Mainstreet Steamboat will have access to a team of experts who can offer advice on downtown revitalization efforts and create action plans for ideas to improve downtown.

Popovich said the pool of experts will include planners, architects and web designers.

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She added the National Main Street Center is also planning to test a new organizational structure for Mainstreet programs that would make it easier for community members to volunteer and become involved with downtown activities and improvements.

For example, she said, the current system has volunteers attend monthly meetings. Under the new system, people who are interested in events such as the downtown chili cook-off could simply volunteer or organize that event.

"Our updated methodology incorporates lessons we've learned in our decades of working with communities of all sizes, and we are confident these pilot projects will demonstrate that our approach continues to be highly effective in breathing new life in our country's historic downtowns and commercial districts,” Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center, said in a news release.

According to the National Main Street Center, leaders in Steamboat will receive 12 to 18 months of hands-on technical assistance from the national experts on how best to involve the community in revitalization efforts, plan and executive long-term strategic action and effectively measure the impact of the efforts.

The other communities selected for the pilot program include Brush and Lake City.

Mainstreet Steamboat will introduce the pilot program at its annual meeting in January.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10