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Rock Springs Named Semi-Finalist for 2018 Great American Main Street Award
August 31, 2017
Rock Springs Main Street has been selected as a semi-finalist for the National Main Street Center’s 2018 Great American Main Street Award. The award recognizes exceptional Main Street communities that excel at comprehensive, preservation-based commercial district revitalization.
“What an honor it is for the City of Rock Springs’ Main Street Program to be selected as one of the 10 semi-finalists for the Great American Main Street Award,” says Mayor of Rock Springs Carl Demshar. “Being selected as a semi-finalist is a direct reflection of the commitment and dedication of Chad Banks, URA/Main Street Manager, the URA/Main Street Board, and the countless volunteers who give their time and talents to ensure the success of our Main Street Program.”
The 10 semi-finalists were selected by a national jury of community development professionals and representatives of government agencies involved in economic development and historic preservation. Contest organizers say the semi-finalists exemplify the power of the Main Street Approach® to transform traditional downtowns and neighborhood business districts.
“Our goal was to be recognized in the top 10 this year, and it’s thrilling to reach this milestone,” says Chad Banks, Manager of the Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency (URA). “Anytime Rock Springs is recognized for our achievements, it benefits the entire community by putting us on the map and shining a spotlight on what a great community Rock Springs is.”
For the last 10 years, the Rock Springs Main Street/URA has led the charge in reinventing downtown Rock Springs. Key efforts include refurbishing historic signature structures, including the Freight Station and the Broadway Theater. Banks says these event venues consistently draw visitors and locals to the district, anchoring downtown development for local restaurants, shops, boutiques and service establishments.
Linda Klinck, Program Manager for Wyoming Main Street, says it is exciting to see another Wyoming community recognized for breathing new life into its downtown corridor. “Under Chad's leadership, and with the support of the city and many volunteers, Rock Springs is making effective investments to ensure continued growth and improvement in the district,” says Klinck. “Wyoming Main Street congratulates their progress and looks forward to their bright future."
Winners will be announced at the 2018 Main Street Now Conference in Kansas City, Mo. The 2018 Great American Main Street Awards are sponsored by U.S. Bank.
20 Things to Do Downtown This Summer
(for $10 or less, most are FREE)
Throughout Downtown Rock Springs, there are countless attractions and activities that will cost you absolutely nothing, including museums, festivals and tours. Take advantage of all Downtown Rock Springs has to offer this summer.
Grab your lunch and listen to the sounds from one of the free Brown Bag Concerts (Tuesdays, 12 noon in Bank Court, June through August)
Snap a selfie in front of the ROCK SPRINGS sculpture (located along South Main Street, behind the Freight Station)
Pick up fresh produce and goodies from the Main Street Market (Dates to be announced soon!)
Come in for a little tour at the Community Fine Arts Center (400 C Street) – FREE ADMISSION
Celebrate Rock Springs’ rich heritage at International Day (Bunning Park, Dates to be announced soon) – FREE ADMISSION
Visit the Rock Springs Library for story time. Pick up summer reading material while you’re there, maybe a movie or two too!
Take a stroll through the Art Underground Gallery and find your favorite art piece.
Get lost in the history of Rock Springs through the Historical Walking Tour
Enjoy a cool brew and live music at the 11th annual Sweetwater Blues n’ Brews (Dates to be announced soon, Bunning Park, $5 admission)
Experience the past with a visit to the Rock Springs Historical Museum (FREE ADMISSION)
A is for Art – Weekly Art Projects for 1st through 4th graders each Wednesday in July at the Community Fine Arts Center
Strike up a game at Pla-Mor Lanes
Relax while enjoying a FREE Concert in the Park (Bunning Park 7 pm, Visit DowntownRS.com for the full schedule)
Leave your mark on the “Before I Die” wall in Bank Court
Show your Tiger Pride at the 4th annual Tiger Town Bash (Date to be announced, North Front Street)
Strike a pose in front of one of the downtown murals
Wander through Downtown Rock Springs and enjoy the Public Art
Admire the sweet rides at the Rods and Rails Car Show (Saturday, June 15th,10 a.m. to 4 p.m., South Main Street)
Find your downtown spot to trainspot
Grab a picnic lunch (or dinner) and enjoy a summer day in Bunning Park
Rock Springs Main Street/URA receives 2017 National Main Street Accreditation
The Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency (URA) has been designated as an accredited National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Main Street Center®, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street® programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to historic preservation and community revitalization through the Main Street Four Point Approach®.
“It is a great honor to recognize this year’s 828 nationally Accredited Main Street America programs for their outstanding work to transform downtown and neighborhood commercial districts,” says Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “Main Streets are the heart of our communities, and the work they do to create quality public spaces, catalyze local entrepreneurship, and support downtown housing is more important than ever. Across the county, Main Street America programs truly strengthen the economic, social, and cultural fabric of their entire communities.”
Rock Springs Main Street/URA’s performance is annually evaluated by Wyoming Main Street, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten performance standards. These standards set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street program’s application of the Main Street Four Point Approach® to commercial district revitalization. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.
During the past year, 13 renovations projects were completed in Downtown Rock Springs, totaling over $300,000. Sixteen new businesses opened created 15 full-time jobs and 1 part-time jobs while volunteers for the Rock Springs Main Street/URA contributed over 2,700 hours.
The Rock Springs Main Street/URA is charged with the redevelopment of Downtown Rock Springs. Further details about the Rock Springs Main Street/URA can be found at their website (DowntownRS.com) or by contacting them at 307-352-1434.
Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,000 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $71.35 billion in new public and private investment, generated 583,869 net new jobs and 131,974 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 267,800 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Rock Springs named top 4 US Community College Towns
TurboTenant, a rapidly growing startup, recently conducted a study measuring the livability and affordability of US cities with the best ranking community colleges. Each city chosen for the study was required to have a top ranking community college, as well as a high level of amenities paired with affordable living. Each town chosen needed to provide average one bedroom rental prices of approximately $1,000 or less.
TurboTenant used data to pick the top four cities across the nation with best ranking community colleges. The four cities that made the list include Glenwood Springs, Colo., Flagstaff, Ariz., Rock Springs, Wyo., and Mitchell, S.D. These four cities were selected due to their outstanding amenities, quality of life, and affordable rental costs.