Rock Springs Main Street/URA shares annual report to city council

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Tyler Johnson, [email protected] [PRESS RELEASE]

ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING (February 16, 2021) — Last year had its challenges but Downtown Rock Springs has weathered the storm. The Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency is excited to share some highlights in the 2020 Annual Report. You can download a copy of the 2020 annual report from their website – DowntownRS.com

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Ten new businesses opened their doors in downtown Rock Springs and created 5.5. net full time jobs.

  • Elevate Your Health Vibe
  • Huckers
  • J&M Autosport
  • Modern Massage
  • New York Life
  • Iron Cowboy Crossfit
  • Rebel and Roots Boutique
  • Save the Date Flower and Wedding Studio
  • Society Insurance Network/Casey Kuckert Insurance
  • Studio Designs Floral
  • Zoobeck’s

One of the foremost goals is to expand the business base in Downtown Rock Springs and grow the retail mix, according to the organization’s annual report. To that end, the agency introduced a new program in 2020 – Project Pop-Up. Becca Smith with Rebel and Roots Boutique was the first recipient.

Covid-Related initiatives are mentioned in the annual report, as well.

“Much of our work was devoted to helping merchants navigate the mandates and funding opportunities,” URA Manager, Chad Banks pointed out.

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Those initiatives included:

  • Curbside Challenge
  • Gift Card promotions
  • Support local BINGO.
  • Personal shopping promotions
  • Virtual SBA Loan application workshop with RSNB Bank.
  • Virtual Christmas Shopping
  • Surveys about retail, restaurants, events and entertainment
  • COVID 19 Awareness certification for URA staff.

Furthering the Arts and Culture Transformation Strategy (and Rock Springs’ presence on a state-wide level), the Wyoming Arts Alliance selected Rock Springs as one of three pilot communities for their professional development program. The Rock Springs Main Street/URA kicked off the programs in the spring of 2020 by completing several public art projects including:

  • Raising funds to replicate the “Disarming” mural. This mural was destroyed during the First Security Bank restoration process. The replication will be placed in the spring of 2Working with Rocky Mountain Power, Dominion Energy and Greene’s Welding, we installed the Peace I sculpture formerly located near the Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce. The sculpture was repainted and is now located at the corner of M and North Front Streets.
  • Launched a monthly Art Stroll – Second Saturdays
  • A third round of new artwork was hung in the Art Underground Gallery, now showcasing 23 local art pieces.
  • Contracted with three local artists to dress up utility boxes around Downtown Rock Springs via our Creative Cover-Ups program.
  • Developed a free mobile app for the Historic Walking Tour.

“We were blessed to receive ten grants throughout the year,” URA Board Chairperson, Maria Mortensen expressed.

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Grants include:

  • Wyoming Business Council Grant – 1st Security Bank
  • State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) – 1ST Security Bank
  • Wyoming Main Street – Grow Wall
  • National Main Street – National Park Service Main Street Façade Improvement Grant Program
  • Wyoming Main Street – Placemaking Grant
  • Wyoming Arts Council – Broadway Theater performances
  • Endurance Fund Grant – Covid related funding
  • Dominion Energy – Downtown Mural Project
  • Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund – Brown Bag Concert Series
  • Rocky Mountain Power Foundation – Broadway Theater performances

The organization continues to prove that Downtown Rock Springs is the hub of economic activity, while creating a positive image that showcases our community’s unique character.

One of the promotions from 2020 was the Mayor’s Downtown Challenge. Mayor Kaumo invited locals and visitors to take a pledge to support local businesses at least five times during the holiday season by purchasing gifts, dining, or participating in holiday events in Downtown Rock Springs.

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Restaurant Week took place a little later in the year due to COVID.

The organization’s websites (DowntownRS.com and BroadwayRS.com) were redesigned.

Working with the Sweetwater County Master Gardeners, the agency installed a Grow Wall which features a vertical, hydroponic garden.

Lastly, the Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency was once again, accredited by the National Main Street Center.

The Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency is charged with the redevelopment of downtown Rock Springs. As part of their mission, there are three standing committees – Business Development, Promotions and Arts and Culture. For more information on the program, contact the Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency at 307-352-1434 or visit their website at downtownrs.com.

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