GUEST COMMENTARY
Creative Holiday Planning Brought the Crowds to Downtown Montrose
by Scott Shine, Executive Director Montrose Downtown Development Authority
Dec 26, 2011 | 700 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A very significant amount of work went into planning and executing this year’s holiday events. Downtown business owners have truly stepped up to offer the community a festive, hometown experience along with a great selection of products and services.

Black Friday and the beginning of December saw a number of different events designed to kick off the holiday season and bring the community downtown for shopping, dining and entertainment.

Many business owners participated by staying open later than usual, decorating storefronts, and offering special sales events. While the weather is unpredictable this time of year and logistics were not perfect, the overall sense is that these coordinated efforts are very valuable, enhance business exposure, and had a direct positive impact on sales.

Congratulations to Adams Sewing and Vacuum who was awarded the 2011 Best Downtown Window Display! Two Main Street newcomers, A+Y Design Gallery and Vic’s Music, came in a close second and third respectively. All the displays are still up so be sure to take a stroll to get ideas for next year.

To promote these events and the overall downtown experience during the holidays, the Montrose DDA coordinated a number of different advertising efforts.

Ads were placed in the local paper, direct mailings, radio, TV, and online. Some of these marketing efforts were solely funded by the DDA on behalf of the entire downtown community and others involved multiple businesses pooling resources for a greater impact. If you have any feedback on the ads, please let us know at info@montrosedowntown.com.

While national economic conditions are still bleak and the future unclear, there have definitely been signs of improvement in Montrose Downtown. At least 16 new businesses have opened and early reports indicate a successful holiday shopping season. There are still empty storefronts, but as rents have come down, many have been filled with innovative new businesses or businesses that have relocated to downtown.

In 2012, the Montrose Downtown Development Authority will do all it can to continue this positive momentum. The DDA will be working to link business and property owners with sources of low-interest loan dollars to improve and expand or start a new venture.

The DDA has also committed funding to build a comprehensive media campaign to strategically communicate about the variety of goods and service available in downtown. The tag line of ‘Meet Me Downtown’ will be used to get consumers thinking about downtown as a diverse, enjoyable shopping and dining experience.

The DDA is in the process of building montrosedowntown.com as a ‘one-stop shop’ for information on the downtown scene. A map & directory of the downtown district is also in the works and should be ready for the 2012 tourist season.

The DDA is also working closely with downtown business owners to understand the dynamic relationship between downtown events and business operations. Event planners working downtown will be in close communication with the DDA. There will always be an emphasis on making sure downtown events are successful and designed to support downtown businesses.

Perhaps most significantly, the DDA is working hard to establish a foundation for the long-term health of the organization and to enable downtown to tap into funding for large-scale capital projects and to incentivize new development. The Plan of Development for the DDA will be out for review in early 2012 and once it is adopted by the DDA Board and City Council, the DDA can begin implementing Tax Increment Financing, which TIF begins by setting a baseline of the amount of tax generated in downtown. Any increase in tax revenue over that baseline goes directly to the DDA for the purpose of reinvesting in downtown. This is tax that would be paid anyway, but with TIF in place those dollars stay in downtown for the direct benefit of downtown business and property owners. TIF is only possible through the work of the DDA.

With these and other projects moving forward, the DDA is confident that downtown will continue to build on recent advancements and see success in 2012. Please contact Scott Shine at 970-901-9667 or info@montrosedowntown.com if you

have any questions.
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