Jon Cordonier and his wife have been visiting Buffalo for nearly 30 years. They always talked about the town as a place to retire.
They recently took that opportunity, but Cordonier didn’t stay retired long.
“I’m somebody who wants to get involved in the community, and there’s no better way to do that than to be a part of the Buffalo Downtown Association,” Cordonier said. “We want to make sure this beautiful little town that is such a great place to live remains that way and thrives.”
Cordonier served as the director of sales and marketing for Marriott hotels for many years. While that means he brings an ace set of digital marketing and communications skills, the new job has involved a learning curve.
For Cordonier, that means burying himself in the National Main Street Center website, exchanging articles, information and ideas with board members, attending the annual national conference and the Wyoming Best Practices Workshop.
There’s still lots to learn, but Cordonier is also busy forming a plan of action. He is putting together a business plan for the Buffalo Downtown Association with the long-term goal of making the organization self-sufficient.
“If we don’t treat this like a business, then it’s just a club for doing nice things,” Cordonier said. “That’s not what I’m about.”
He is also seeking some quick wins to build momentum downtown.
“We want to get downtown owners excited about making changes and working together,” Cordonier said. “That starts with making things look vibrant and clean and like a place people want to be.”
Cordonier is organizing a spring cleaning to spruce up downtown. A massive show of force of people young and old working downtown cleaning windows, painting and sweeping may help signal to the public and local merchants changes are coming.
To help local business owners bolster their bottom line, Cordonier is taking a group to the Jon Schallert workshop in Gillette, sponsored by the Wyoming Business Council. Next, he plans to introduce those business owners to Schallert’s webinar series and have a roundtable discussion about some action items the group can put in place.
Also on Cordonier’s list is a PA system to play music downtown, an idea he poached during the Best Practices Workshop in Missouri this year.
“I think there is a lot of opportunity during our farmers markets, during the holidays, during events, to add something extra to the downtown experience,” Cordonier said. “I mentioned it during a recent meeting with business owners and everyone got excited about the idea.”
That meeting may be an indication the Buffalo community is buying into Cordonier’s approach. Nearly three dozen people attended.
It is a good sign something special is happening along Clear Creek.