Since its establishment in 2002, the Downtown Development Authority has played a central role in revitalizing Glenwood's downtown. From the public-private partnership that kept our library downtown....

... to the parking garage on Cooper Avenue...

... to the creation of the award-winning public space that is Bethel Plaza and 7th Street...

... the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has spearheaded projects that have drastically improved Glenwood's downtown over the years.

Because of these forward-thinking investments, the downtown was able to withstand a global pandemic, unprecedented wildfires, and mudslides. Despite these recent tragedies, 2021 saw the highest amount of sales tax revenue ever within the downtown area. This is truly a testament to our downtown's vibrance and economic resilience.

And yet - it is also true that our downtown's potential is unmet. We now have the opportunity to build off of this momentum and carry forward improvements to all corners of the downtown.

Glenwood Springs has excellent planning documents that map out a clear vision for the future of downtown. The 2020 updated Downtown Plan of Development, the 2019 Glenwood Moving Forward Together Plan, and the 2017 6th Street Corridor Master Plan all identify projects for downtown's "next chapter."

What the downtown now needs is the implementation of these plans. This year, Glenwood's City Council voted unanimously to extend Tax Increment Financing, which funds the work of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), for an additional 20 years. This renewed commitment means the DDA can continue its efforts on all fronts to strengthen, promote, and celebrate the core of the community - our downtown.

We are just getting started. This report highlights some of the big successes of the past year.

.- Jillian Sutherland, DDA Executive Director & Christian Henny, DDA Board Chair


Christian Henny, Chair

Chad Lee, Vice-Chair

Shelley LaDue Fishbein

Kevin Brady

Kurt Carruth

Matt Cooke

Greg Keller


Marco Dehm

Charlie Willman


The Glenwood Springs DDA’s mission is to create vitality for the downtown; its plans and projects include strengthening downtown as the retail, entertainment, office, government and tourist hub of the area. The DDA ensures access for all.


Downtown Glenwood Springs is a destination bridging our rich history and celebrating small town character with our bright future as a crossroads of recreation, culture, diversity, and entrepreneurship.


The DDA and its partners were hard at work in 2022 on several projects that will bring continued energy and vibrancy to downtown, benefitting all who spend time here. Keep an eye out for the next steps in these transformative projects in 2023.

North Landing

A long-held dream of creating a public space north of the river in downtown is much closer to reality now that the DDA and City have financially partnered for the development of the site design and construction documents. North Landing, located south of the intersection of 6th Street and Pine Street, will serve downtown for generations to come as a space for gathering, relaxing, and enjoying community.

The site gets its name from formerly serving as the “north landing” area of the Grand Avenue Bridge. A community visioning process began pre-pandemic and was resumed this year to help determine how this public resource will look and function. The opportunities for such a special space are nearly endless, and we look forward to sharing final designs in 2023.

NOTE: sketch is for illustrative purposes only, it is not reflective of the final design

6th Street Phase 1 Implementation

After more than 4 years since the 6th Street Corridor Master Plan’s adoption, implementation of Phase 1 is here! The DDA contracted with the Glenwood Springs-based engineering firm Boundaries Unlimited to develop final design and construction documents for the section of 6th Street between Laurel and Pine Streets. The goal is to improve the economic health of this section of Glenwood’s historic Main Street while creating safer, more comfortable pedestrian and bicycle connections for the public to enjoy as they navigate the downtown area.

The project has recently come to life with newly completed illustrations and art recommendations. It will transform the former 5-lane highway into a vibrant downtown street complete with bike lanes, wide sidewalks and public art for all to enjoy. A true partnership effort, this $1.8 million project is funded by a $1.1 million CDOT Revitalizing Main Streets grant, $350,000 from the DDA and $383,000 through the City’s Acquisition & Improvements (A&I) Fund.

Alley Revitalization

Alleys are an important, yet underutilized part of the City’s downtown pedestrian-friendly street network. Unlocking the potential of the City’s alley system is part of the DDA’s overarching vision to energize downtown Glenwood Springs. Several years ago, the DDA completed an Alley Revitalization Strategy that outlined improvements to transform the alleys into inviting, active places to foster social interaction with paving, benches, signage, lighting and color.

Several strides have been made in recent years to accomplish this, including the transformation and trash consolidation of the east-west alley between Colorado and Grand Avenue and trash consolidation in the alleys between Grand Avenue and Cooper Street along the 700 block. To continue progress, the DDA financially partnered with the City to contract with an engineering firm to move forward design and construction plans to further improve all alleys on the 700 Block between Colorado and Blake Avenues.

Once designs are completed, the DDA will pursue grant funding to help with implementation.


Downtown Glenwood Springs is an exciting, dynamic place thanks to our abundance of locally owned businesses. Here’s a look at some of the ways the DDA supported them this past year. Grant funds are used to uplift the appearance of buildings downtown and increase lighting to enhance safety and security for everyone.

Facade Improvement Grant

The DDA’s Facade Improvement Program provides financial assistance for eligible projects in the district that enhance building façades, thereby enhancing the downtown street environment. Matching grants of up to $15,000 are awarded on a “first come, first served” basis. This year, five businesses were approved for grant funding through the program. Native Son owner Ricky Rodriguez, for example, utilized the program to help with a vibrant and comprehensive paint job and will be installing a brand new awning in Spring 2023.

Design Assistance Grant

New this year, the Design Assistance Grant Program is meant to assist business or property owners with the up-front costs associated with pursuing facade improvements. Applicants can receive a $1,000 grant to hire a design professional to develop plans for exterior renovations. This year, two businesses took advantage of this brand new program.

Alley Lighting Program

Fostering active alley connections has long been a priority of the DDA. To increase the sense of safety in the alleys after dark, the DDA funded a new grant program this year that pays for the purchase and installation of alley lights for property and business owners that desire them. This year, four property owners in three separate alleys requested and received lights, greatly improving illumination for employees and downtown patrons.


Aside from adding artistic beauty, murals and other public art are important for fostering a unique sense of place downtown - you know you are somewhere special! To support this, this year the DDA increased eligible uses for its Facade Improvement Program to include public art, such as murals. The DDA also invested in the continued success of the Butterfly Wings Art Installations by adding new “Find Your Wings In Glenwood Springs” signs above each pair.

Mural Spotlight

A striking new mural by local artist Jeremy Velasquez can be found on the south side of 716 Grand Avenue and is a great improvement from the graffiti tagging that was formerly covering this wall. The mural is his own design of a big horned sheep seen in the shadow of Mt. Sopris. Several businesses have expressed interest in doing similar projects on their buildings.

Rick and Karen Sherriff, who own the building, graciously allowed this talented artist to do the project on their building and partnered with the DDA through the Facade Improvement Program and Design Assistance Program to pay for the design and installation of the mural.

Graffiti tagging was formerly on the side of the building and could be seen prominently from Grand Avenue.

A fresh coat of paint was applied before Jeremy set to work on the new mural.

A beautiful big horned sheep now watches over our downtown!


Our businesses - and indeed the greater community - greatly benefit from fun and engaging events in our downtown each year. This year, the Board prioritized providing memorable experiences for those who shop, work, live and visit downtown by organizing and supporting events downtown. Some highlights include:

Market on 7th

The downtown farmers market has been a community tradition for over 10 years. This year, when the founding organizer retired mid-season, the DDA stepped in to continue this cherished event under a new name and brand: “Market on 7th.” With the support of our friends and partners at the City of Glenwood Springs and Garfield County Public Health, who help us meet regulatory requirements and run a safe event, we are so proud to offer fresh, local produce and goods from dozens of vendors in this community-supported event.

Music Meanders

Downtown is bigger than many people realize! Our merchants expressed interest in bringing events to more parts of our downtown area so in October, the DDA in partnership with the City organized a three-week music series called “Music Meanders.” The series brought 24 local performing artists to four unique locations across the downtown.

The Great Glenwood Holiday Hunt

During the pandemic, the DDA partnered with the City to bring the famous Butterfly Wings art installations across downtown. These wildly popular “photo ops” have been enjoyed by the community for over a year. To offer a new twist on this popular activity, the DDA worked with Novaby, a company that develops Augmented Reality art installations, to bring four fun pieces into the downtown for the duration of the holiday season. The installations are at four unique locations across the downtown, meant to encourage window shoppers to experience all that downtown has to offer for shopping and dining.

Four unique Augmented Reality "stations" all around downtown.

Grand Holiday

Another long-time tradition for downtown, this was the first year our friends and partners at the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association were the lead organizer for this cherished community celebration of the holiday season! In addition to everyone’s favorite jolly old elf bringing holiday cheer, Santa was joined by Mrs. Claus and one of his reindeer and the DDA sponsored by providing free fresh churros for everyone who attended this popular event. Over 900 free churros were given out to participants!

Thanks for reading! For additional questions about the work of the Glenwood Springs Downtown Development Authority please reach out to Jillian Sutherland, Executive Director at director@glenwoodspringsdda.com