Pueblo Downtown Association--
Founded in the early 1950’s by department store managers in the bustling retail center of Southern Colorado, the Pueblo Downtown Association brought shoppers to local stores and restaurants with community events such as Krazy Days and Moonlight Madness. Shoppers stopped to enjoy a sandwich or salad and an ice cream soda at Woolworth’s, J. J. Newberry’s or Kress while shopping for everything from baby clothes to automobiles after cashing their paychecks at one of the palatial banks that graced Downtown Pueblo. The advent of shopping malls and big box stores changed the face of downtowns everywhere. Pueblo was no exception. Tough times followed as several area industries closed their doors or cut back. The rush to malls and big box stores led a number of building owners to board up their facades or worse yet, to demolish historic buildings.
In the 1980’s civic-minded retailers, restaurant operators and media-types rolled up their sleeves and fought to save and revive Pueblo’s downtown. Association members and city residents rallied behind an idea to use a tiny portion of sales tax revenue to build a new hotel and an impressive convention center. Soon we voted to create our gorgeous Riverwalk. When almost an entire block of historic buildings on Santa Fe was scheduled for demolition, the Association convinced city and county fathers to work together to spare the buildings and use already vacant land for a needed parking lot. By supporting a new and forward-thinking Urban Renewal Authority, we have encouraged the renovation, restoration and reuse of a number of historic buildings and construction of new structures that compliment the elegant old Victorians. Attractive new condos and apartments are bringing new life to our area.
With fewer retail stores and restaurants, the association turned its attention from less-effective promotions to sprucing up the area with attractive wrought iron planters, trash receptacles and benches. A recent project is the placement of fanciful new bicycle racks to promote fitness while encouraging visitors and city residents to shop in locally owned shops and snack or dine in unique coffee shops and restaurants.
Downtown Pueblo is a vibrant place with lots of things to do. Little theater groups and galleries have joined the newly renovated and restored Memorial Hall, the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, the Buell Children's Museum, El Pueblo History Museum, Pueblo Heritage Museum, Rosemount Museum and now, the Pueblo Firefighters Historical Center in offering cultural activities. Look around and appreciate Pueblo's many historic buildings. The riverwalk, kayak course and ice arena offer fun and exercise. Walkers along the river trail enjoy the view of the beautiful new 4th Street bridge and Downtown. Relax over coffee, a microbrew or a delicious meal. The Pueblo Convention Center hosts trade shows, glitzy social events and even boxing matches and yoga classes. An addition to the center is currently underway. It will add a parking structure and lots of space for large trade shows, etc.
The Pueblo Downtown Association is a catalyst for enhancing Downtown Pueblo through the promotion of business, beautification, and development of activities. We welcome memberships from businesses, organizations and residents who want to see continued improvement in the appearance, business climate and residential appeal of Pueblo's Downtown.