Rock Springs was named Thursday as a nominee for a national award celebrating exceptional downtown revitalization.
The National Main Street Center honored Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency among its 10 semifinalists for the organization’s most prestigious prize - the 2018 Great American Main Street Award.
“Our goal was to be recognized top 10 this year, and it’s thrilling to reach this milestone,” said Chad Banks, manager of Rock Springs Main Street. “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.”
The award recognizes comprehensive, preservation-based commercial district revitalization.
Rock Springs Main Street has spearheaded the reinvention of the city’s downtown for the last decade. Key efforts include refurbishing historic structures like the Freight Station and the Broadway Theater. Today, those venues consistenly draw visitors and locals to the district, anchoring downtown development for local restaurants, shops, boutiques and service establishments.
Rock Springs Main Street is one of 19 members under the Wyoming Main Street program, an arm of the Wyoming Business Council which coordinates state efforts and provides technical assistance and grant money to local Main Street organizations.
Wyoming Main Street has contributed $80,000 since 2014 toward projects like improving Bunning Park, renovating the freight station and revitalizing Bank Court.
“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 downtown district,” said Linda Klinck, program manager for Wyoming Main Street. “Wyoming Main Street congratulates their progress and looks forward to the town’s bright future.”
In 2016, Wyoming Main Street communities reported gaining 51 businesses with a net of 277 new jobs. Those same communities undertook $10.5 million in improvement, renovation and new construction projects. The private sector invested 87 percent of that money.
About 1,600 communities are certified members of the National Main Street Center, which is a National Trust for Historic Preservation program.
The 10 semifinalists for the award were selected by a national jury of community development professionals and government agency representatives involved in economic development and historic preservation. Winners will be announced at the 2018 Main Street Now Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.
Wyoming downtowns have played an outsized presence on the national stage, as this is the third time a Wyoming Main Street has been nominated for the Great American Main Street Award.
Rawlins first earned the nod as a semifinalist in 2013, then returned to win in 2014. Rawlins became, and remains, the first northern Rocky Mountain community to win the coveted honor.
Visit http://wyomingbusiness.org/mainstreet, or call Klinck at 307-777-2934, for more information about the Wyoming Main Street program.