DURANGO, Colo. – Construction activity in the old Durango Music building at the corner of Main Ave. and 8th St. in Downtown Durango will be visible the week of March 5, 2012, as renovations get underway to create the new Durango Welcome Center.
According to Shawn Slater, Welcome Center project manager, the first step is demolition of the building’s interiors. Structural integrity and “the secrets hidden behind the walls” will be confirmed, and framing of the new interiors will then begin. The Welcome Center is slated to open by Memorial Day Weekend in time for the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic.
The Durango Welcome Center is a collaborative project of the Durango Business Improvement District (BID), Fort Lewis College, the City of Durango and the Durango Area Tourism Office (DATO). It is being designed as a one-stop, centralized storefront for information and tickets to attractions and activities in Durango and environs, plus to serve as an informational/recruitment opportunity for Fort Lewis College.
The estimated $210,000 building renovation is being funded by the BID, the City and Fort Lewis College. The City is holding the building’s lease, though it will not be involved with the day-to-day operations of the Center. The key Welcome Center partners, the BID, DATO and Fort Lewis College will be the primary tenants, each paying one-third of the operating costs.
Operations will also be supplemented by paid advertising within the Center, and bids are now closed for companies seeking to handle that effort. The Center will also contain an ATM, and interested parties can still submit a bid to the City, www.durangogov.org. The BID, architect Rick Feeney and Slater are also finalizing agreements with the construction sub-contractors, all of whom are anticipated to be local.
“Overall, the Durango Welcome Center is a tremendous collaborative project initiated by the BID, but one that wouldn’t have been possible without the partnership with Fort Lewis College, DATO and the City – as well as building owner Bob Griffith and a growing list of community supporters,” said Bob Kunkel, BID executive director.
For additional information about the Durango Business Improvement District and its projects, visit www.downtowndurango.org or call 970.375.5067.