Saturday, February 24, 2007

One of a Kind Downtowns

Chris Gibbons, the originator of economic gardening, had a great idea on his list serve yesterday about networking among historic downtowns.

“For those of you working with local downtowns, you may be interested in a movement here in Colorado. A number of historic neighborhood shopping districts have banned together in an organization known as The Original Shopping Districts. They tout the fact that they are all independent shop owners with no Gap or Starbucks among them. We have kicked around the idea of calling it The Indie Scene based on the idea that independent films are referred to as Indies. Our first name for the group was Authentic Shopping League….meaning people could find one of a kind merchandise. We have great independent restaurants with metro reputations in these districts and we have outstanding shops like Ambience de Provence (whose owner is from Provence, France and imports bolts of cloth and glassware from his former towns people) and Pinon Art (art and bronzes costing upwards of $10,000).

We have generated quite a buzz in Denver with 7 media articles and TV coverage and calls from other historical shopping districts to join the group. Energy and investment are flowing into our downtown. Denver’s mayor Hickenlooper, who is gaining national attention, was at one of the roll out extravaganza’s and was very enthusiastic about the whole idea.”

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