Downtown is the place to be in Glenwood Springs.
Truly the heart of our beloved community, Downtown is where we all go to enjoy the things that make Glenwood, Glenwood. Downtown is where our largest concentration of independent restaurants and retailers flourish. Downtown is where we celebrate our community - the Market on 7th, Noche Latina, Pride Celebration, Movies & Music Under the Bridge, and Grand Holiday all happen here. It is also home to our thriving creative community. Downtown is where you will find murals and sculptures lovingly made and commissioned by local artists. And only in Downtown Glenwood Springs can you find multiple world class hot springs, a mountaintop amusement park, two pristine rivers, and over 30 acres of park space!
In 2023, the Glenwood Springs Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and its partners continued to ensure Downtown remains the cornerstone of our community. We are working hard to build upon the great “nucleus” of activity that has been established in and around Bethel Plaza and 7th Street Restaurant Row. We completed designs for the 700 block of Cooper Avenue, North Landing, our core downtown alleyways, and 6th Street - all key connections to that center.
The opportunities are endless in Downtown Glenwood Springs. This report highlights some of our biggest successes of the past year. Thank you for your continued support and investment in the heart of our community.
- Jillian Sutherland, DDA Executive Director & Chad Lee, DDA Board Chair
Originally the space where the Old Grand Avenue Bridge “landed,” North Landing is an underutilized grassy area that is located adjacent to Hotel Colorado and the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort. It is envisioned as North Downtown’s “outdoor living room.” This year, designs were completed for this dynamic new public space.
The project features an art sculpture garden, nature play spaces, a performance space, a shaded area for food trucks and their patrons, and a self-cleaning restroom. It is projected to go out to bid in 2024 and is scheduled for completion in 2025.
North Landing will include shade structures and multipurpose space for performances, games, dining, and more.
A pergola will provide nice shade and a beautiful entrance into the space from the Pedestrian Bridge.
A gorgeous walkway leads to an art sculpture garden.
Cooper Avenue is a critical downtown shopping street rich with Glenwood history. Business owners have expressed a desire to enhance the street by adding greenery, improving lighting, and building up its unique character.
The existing conditions of the street show a lack of street trees, unorganized truck parking, and very wide traffic lanes.
The DDA completed conceptual streetscape designs for Cooper Avenue based on the goals of the business owners.
When completed, the street will offer two additional on-street parking spaces, abundant street trees and landscaping, space for outdoor dining, gateway art and a beautiful, well-lit mid-block crossing at intersection of the alleyways. The DDA has budgeted to get the project shovel-ready with construction documents in 2024.
This is an artistic rendering of Cooper looking south towards 8th Street.
An artistic rendering of Cooper looking north toward 7th Street.
A beautiful midblock crossing will connect the pedestrian-only alleyways that connect Blake Avenue to the County Courthouse. String lights will be hung from the banners to create a visual draw on the block at night.
The DDA funded the design and engineering for improvements for the alleys between Grand Avenue, Blake Avenue, 7th Street and 8th Street. These designs move forward a long-held vision of creating a pedestrian-only pathway between the County Courthouse and the Hotel Denver. Additional goals of the project include increasing pedestrian safety and mobility, creating a vibrant space with special lighting, and inspiring redevelopment on adjacent private property.
With support from the DDA, the City successfully competed for Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Energy/Mineral Impact Assistance Funds (EIAF) to contribute to the $1.6M project. The DDA will be paying for the bulk of the project, and has budgeted $600,000 for the construction of the improvements in 2024, and an additional $300,000 will be budgeted for the lighting to be installed in 2025. The remaining $700,000 in project costs are being split between the DOLA grant and City funds.
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 $25,000 are awarded on a “first come, first served” basis. Nearly $30,000 in Facade Improvement Grants were awarded to long-established local businesses looking to upgrade the exterior of their buildings.
Market on 7th
This was the first full year that the DDA ran the Market on 7th, and vendor participation was greater than ever with over 40 vendors participating, 7 of which were local farmers. Live music was provided by local musicians every week, employing a total of 37 local musicians over the course of the season. The market ran for 13 weeks, and accepted both Women, Infant, Children (WIC) vouchers and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funds to ensure the market was accessible for everyone.
The DDA was pleased to receive sponsorships from both FirstBank and DWC CPA & Advisors, as well as a Financial Advisory Board grant for the permitting fees. It was a group effort to pull off this signature downtown event and the DDA looks forward to making it even better next season.
Better Together 2.0
This was the City’s second year of the “Better Together” mural art project and it was met with the same great enthusiasm. The DDA was proud to provide a sponsorship of Glenwood Gold, our “currency” that is good for purchases at local restaurants and retailers, for artists who participated in the City’s second successful “Better Together” Public Art project. 10 artists from across Colorado added murals locations scattered across downtown. How many have you found?