Business Improvement Districts exist throughout the country, in large cities and small, and each one has a unique scope of work. What all BIDs have in common, however, is their underlying purpose to improve conditions for businesses in a specific area; attract and retain businesses; and improve the overall experience for those who use the district. A BID enables stakeholders to decide which services to provide to meet the district’s unique needs.
To that end, the Durango Business Improvement District was formed in 1997 with a mission that evolved from the original narrow focus of studying the feasibility of a possible Downtown Conference Center, to a broad brush of sustainability within the District through special event marketing, 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 helps support businesses in the District.
The Durango BID is funded by a 2 mill levy, an additional property tax constituents in the district have assessed on themselves, through 2025. Support funding for specific projects has also been provided by the Durango Area Tourism Office and the City of Durango.
Activities at the BID, and within the Historic Downtown, have accelerated in recent years. In partnership with the City, the BID has a physical office located at 1199 Main Ave., Suite 210, and it has assisted in acquisition of a steadily-expanding reserve of outdoor “equipment” to facilitate special events in Downtown. The entities also have teamed up for three “umbrella” marketing programs that collectively support activities in and around Downtown – HOLiDAZZLE, Spring it On! and Fall for Downtown Durango Days.
In addition to supporting events through marketing grants, “branding” the Historic Downtown has become a central focus of the BID. Efforts have gone far to unify “the look” and elevate awareness of the Downtown – so much so that Durango, primarily because of its Historic Downtown, was named to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Dozen Distinct Destinations for 2007.