During the 2019 SOCO Tourism Summit

During the 2019 SOCO Tourism Summit, guests to Trinidad took a guided tour around the historic downtown area aboard the locally famous Trinidad Trolley.

On Monday, Nov. 9, Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) announced the recipients of the 2020 Governor’s Awards for Downtown Excellence. The Partnerships for Events Award was awarded to Trinidad, Walsenburg and La Junta for their combined work accomplished with the 2019 SOCO Tourism Summit that shared tourism industry efforts and happenings for the southeastern Colorado region.

Trinidad Tourism Director Marty Hackett said the SOCO Tourism Summit has been meeting for years and captures the spirit of collaboration that is so often seen in our rural region.

“A group of representatives from seven counties, Las Animas, Huerfano, Prowers, Bent, Crowley, Baca and Otero, established the SOCO Tourism Summit years ago to market the region,” said Hackett. “The group developed the SOCO Tourism Summit to tour the region on board a bus and participate in various activities that would educate the participants on everything going on in that region.”

Unfortunately, with the difficulties of 2020, the group did not host a summit but still has high hopes to get back on track next year. Hackett said every year, different areas within the region are identified for tours and often accompanied by sharing ideas on board the bus. The tour is sometimes referred to as “a conference room with a view.”

“It brought individuals who would not otherwise have visited including state, regional, and organizational leaders and community members from neighboring counties,” said Hackett, “and it gave them an opportunity to see and hear things first hand and was an opportunity for the SOCO Tourism group to show others how collaborations can help us all grow together.”

To receive the award, a person or entity has to submit a nomination to the group for consideration. Nominating the 2019 SOCO Tourism Summit was the Pueblo Chamber of Commerce.

Since 2003, the Governor’s Awards for Downtown Excellence have recognized numerous projects and people in Colorado that demonstrate creativity in the face of challenges, unlikely and enduring partnerships, and dedication to community to further downtown initiatives.

“During the 2020 pandemic, the Governor’s Awards for Downtown Excellence provide a needed chance to remember the champions and innovators who are keeping our commercial districts and small businesses alive,” said Katherine Correll, Executive Director of DCI. “The Governor’s Awards celebrate the amazing projects and people that are committed to economic and community revitalization in Colorado.”

Nominations for the 2021 Governor’s Awards for Downtown Excellence are now open. The nomination fee is $100 and all nominations need to be submitted with 1-5 photos by 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. Forms can be found at downtowncoloradoinc.wildapricot.org/GovAward2021

The 2020 Governor’s Awards for Downtown Excellence winners are:

Best of Partnership

Ready to Work Program

(City of Boulder)

Durango Renewal Partnership

(City of Durango)

Partnerships for Events

Englewood Block Party

(City of Englewood)

2019 SOCO Tourism Summit

(Cities of La Junta, Walsenburg and Trinidad)

Best of Place

Greeley Art Alley

(City of Greeley)

Glenwood Springs 7th Street Enhancement Project

(City of Glenwood Springs)

Best of Planning

Loveland Downtown Design Standards

(City of Loveland)

Alamosa Downtown Design Plan

(City of Alamosa)

Projects with Adaptation

Poudre Garage

(City of Fort Collins)

The Windsor Mill

(Town of Windsor)

Projects with New Building

The Foundry

(City of Loveland)

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