DURANGO, Colo. – The Durango Business Improvement District (BID) has moved one step closer to its targeted Memorial Day weekend opening of the new Durango Welcome Center, selecting Shawn Slater, of Colarelli Construction as project manager.
The Durango Welcome Center, to be located in the heart of Downtown Durango at 8th St. and Main Ave., will provide a one-stop, centralized storefront for information and tickets to attractions and activities in Durango and environs, plus serve as an informational/recruitment opportunity for Fort Lewis College.
“This is a tremendous collaborative project initiated by the BID, but one that wouldn’t have been possible without our partnership with Fort Lewis College, the Durango Area Tourism Office and the City of Durango – as well as building owner Bob Griffith,” said Bob Kunkel, BID executive director. “Shawn Slater will be a tremendous addition to the team and he will be working closely with BID board member John Wells as the project moves forward.”
A Durango resident and LEED-certified builder, Shawn Slater previously served as Director of Construction for Durango Mountain Resort and oversaw construction of the Purgatory Lodge and associated Plaza improvements. With the downturn in construction at DMR, he approached Vince Colarelli about opening a Durango office for the Colorado Springs-based Colarelli Construction. Since that time, Slater has been instrumental in key Downtown Durango projects, including the remodel of the Durango Discovery Museum, the exterior façade of The Commons, and the comprehensive sidewalk replacement program. Slater’s office is at 1201 Main Ave., Suite 101.
“As a La Plata County resident who understands the importance of keeping our dollars here at home, we will use 100 percent local subs, suppliers and labor on the Welcome Center project,” said Slater. “We are excited about working on the Durango Welcome Center because we enjoy living in Durango, and want to share our community with others.”
Architect Rick Feeney is heading up the redesign of the building’s interior, with Kris Hickcox of Pool Creative designing an attractive and unified public display area. The vision for the facility includes back-lit display panels, programmable video screens, racks for flyers, brochures, etc., a poster kiosk, ticket sales and reservations desk as well as public restrooms. At this writing, plans are for the City to convert at least one adjacent parking space on 8th Street to a short term, ticket-pick-up space.
“There are limited opportunities for a center of this type in Downtown,” said Kunkel, noting that nearly all storefronts in Downtown are currently filled. “The BID is thrilled that we were able to bring everyone together to make this happen, as none of the partners could have done it independently.”
The building’s former tenant, Durango Music, has relocated to 2nd Ave. next door to the Rochester Hotel. The existing Visitor’s Center in Santa Rita Park will remain open as the home of the Durango Chamber of Commerce, and Visitor Information Specialists will continue to staff the front desk, providing a “first point of contact” for travelers arriving in Durango.
For additional information about the Durango Business Improvement District and its projects, visit www.downtowndurango.org or call 970.375.5067.
The Durango Business Improvement District was formed in 1997 with a goal and mission to support businesses within the District by assisting with special event marketing, providing research on topics of concern to the District (facilities, special events, best practices), planning and development of new facilities, and providing capital budget for equipment that enhances business in the District. Funding is generated by a 2 mill levy on property owners within the district, with additional marketing dollars contributed by the City of Durango and Durango Area Tourism Office.