Grand Junction, Colo. The Downtown Development Authority has spent the last 10 years and more than $18 million into improving the downtown district.
It’s paying off; more event organizers want to plan their festivals to be Downtown.
Director for the Downtown Development Authority Harry Weiss said the board is working closely with City Council members to create a downtown district that brings in more visitors.
“So as the demand for the use of that space increases so do the impacts directly on downtown property owners and downtown property owners," said Weiss.
But with more festivals wanting to plan their events on Main Street and Colorado Avenue, local business owners fear their customers won’t come in and their businesses will be severely affected in a negative way.
One local owner said that the road closures and the limited access to parking during these events has repeat customers avoiding the downtown area all together.
“We have regular customer's that come to see us from out of town and if they can't get close to us because they have to walk two or three blocks to get to us then they just don't come that day," said Ron Maupin owner of Haggle of Vendors Emporium.
The board along with city council is looking into moving some of the festivals to Whitman Park.
The Park is currently a hangout spot for the local homeless community, and the board says they are taking that into consideration, along with public restrooms, parking, and power supply.
These all play a big role when choosing venues for these festivals due to the large amount of people that come to the area for the events.
Whitman Park is still in the downtown district but keeps businesses on the two main streets from being as affected by the events.
Festivals like the Farmer’s Market, and Fourth of July Parade, the Annual Car Show and the festival of lights that the DDA puts on would not be affected by a possible change of venue for other festivals.
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