By Beth Dodd:
The Woodland DDA has big plans to move and shake the Woodland Park business community in 2014. At their recent annual retreat they discussed their successes in 2013, and set their sights on their goals for 2014 and beyond.
At the DDA board retreat on February 3, Woodland Park business and civic leaders indentified the groups’ recent successes, their short term goals for 2014, and their long term goals for the future. Some of these concepts were very concrete while others were more conceptual.
Looking back at the year past, the group indentified their top accomplishments in 2013. The construction of Woodland Hardware, the first new building in long-anticipated Woodland Station with a tentative soft opening date of March 1, was seen as an important milestone. Another new construction project, the 168 unit Trail Ridge Apartment complex which is taking shape uphill of the Safeway shopping center with its first building hoped to open late this summer, is also seen as an important step forward. The DDA quarterly newsletter written by Carol Lindholm, a new tool for communicating what’s happening in the Woodland Park business arena, was also a big hit.
The build-out of Woodland Station was identified as one of the DDA’s goals for 2014. The proposed plan for Woodland Station includes a new hotel and events center, which is expected to bring new guests into town throughout the year.
Two other big projects for 2014 are the pursuit of Woodland Park Main Street USA and the Woodland Parks Arts District. These two new programs are expected to work hand in hand with the development of Woodland Station to bring new businesses to town and revitalize the community for the benefit of both locals and visitors.
At the same time, the group acknowledged that it was equally important to support existing businesses by building a sense of community. The DDA liked the progress made in the beautification of downtown Woodland Park last year, and would like to see it continue. Other ideas for supporting existing business included the possibility of building a downtown bypass, an idea which has been debated for years, and adding parking along Highway 24 to encourage tourists to spend more time in town patronizing the local shops and restaurants.
The consensus was that the DDA would like to help make Woodland Park “the place to be,” a place where everyone would like to live, play, and do business. They would like to promote outdoor activities and the arts as local attractions.