MONTE VISTA—Local business representatives met once again last week to discuss marketing strategies and financial plans to keep businesses running during the summer construction project planned for the downtown area.
Monte Vista City Manager Don Van Wormer and San Luis Valley Development Resources Group Executive Director Roni Wisdom organized the meetings to help the community avoid facing some of the challenges experienced in Alamosa and other communities during similar projects.
Van Wormer explained that many of the details of the project will not be available until a contractor is chosen. The contract will require that the contractor complete the sidewalk work in phases, to minimize the impact to downtown businesses, and that one lane of traffic is kept open. Complete closures may occur as the intersections at Adams and Broadway are completed, but the exact arrangement will be determined by the contractor.
In a phone interview Thursday, CDOT Engineer Keith Magowan said that the bid would be completed within “a couple days.” At that point a public information officer will be assigned to the project to work with local members of the press and take questions from the public. That person will also host a public meeting to answer questions. Van Wormer said that meeting will be held at least two weeks prior to the beginning of construction.
To keep their businesses running as smoothly as possible local businesses are working on creating a unified marketing project that may include painting doors red, or using a red door symbol to identify alternative entrances. Businesses that are not directly impacted by the work can also display the symbol in support of the downtown shops.
Other ideas include creating signs, banner and kiosks to keep visitors informed of parking options and to help them locate alternate entrances. Some of the business owners will meet again to put those ideas together.