Scottsbluff downtown organization looking for increased participation

The Downtown Scottsbluff Association hopes to capitalize on successful events from 2019 and increase participation from downtown merchants to promote the area. An organizing meeting will be held Thursday at 7:30 a.m. in the conference room of the Bluffs Business Center.

The Downtown Scottsbluff Association is hoping to take advantage of successful events in 2019 and encourage more participation in the coming year.

An organizational meeting for all downtown merchants will be held Thursday at 7:30 a.m. in the Bluffs Business Center Board Room at 1517 Broadway.

City of Scottsbluff Economic Development Director Starr Lehl said last summer’s Bands on Broadway, Farmer’s Market and December’s Christmas events were successful in attracting people to the 18th Street Plaza. With the Plaza expected to be completed in the coming months, Lehl said that location is anticipated to host even more events in 2020, including the possibility of a Cinco de Mayo celebration. She said there has been some discussion about bringing back Sidewalk Bazaar Days as a weekend event in the community that would add activities to the annual downtown sidewalk sales.

“The Plaza is a very exciting amenity in the downtown space, and we’re excited to be able to better utilize that,” Angela Scanlan, owner of Cappuccino and Company, said. She said the park is ideal for a number of different types of events and will be a “great place to make memories” for families for years to come.

While the DSA has been around for a number of years, Lehl would like to see more participation, similar to what the Gering Downtown Merchants Association has seen.

“I think there is strength in numbers, and that we can make the events even a little more successful with a little bit of help,” Lehl said.

Scanlan said the reorganization is important and exciting as she has, for the last couple of years, only been able to push the DSA’s core activities, a “skeleton” of what can be possible with more collaboration and increased participation bringing new ideas and new consumers to the downtown area.

“We want to see the downtown community be successful for everyone,” Scanlan said, “so we want as much input as possible.”

Lehl said a successful downtown business community is important to a successful city, and would like to see growth for Scottsbluff.

“We need to try to fill up some of the storefronts and again bring shoppers back to downtown,” Lehl said. “I think there’s a lot of people that don’t realize the number of great businesses we’ve got downtown, and the City wants to do all we can to help grow our downtown. ... Every city needs to have a healthy downtown, and we need to do whatever we can to help that grow.”

Those interested in attending Thursday’s meeting should RSVP to Lehl at 308-630-6213 or by email at slehl@scottsbluff.org.

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Reporter

Mark McCarthy is a reporter with the Star-Herald. He can be reached at 308-632-9049 or via email at mark.mccarthy@starherald.com.

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