The Greater Downtown Colorado Springs BID, like its predecessors the Pikes Peak Avenue BID, formed in 1994, and the Downtown Colorado Springs BID created in 1996 is a voter approved district organized under Colorado State Statue Part 12, Article 25, Title 31 in order to maintain streetscape improvements, undertake downtown marketing and improve parking and transportation.
There are nearly 1,000 BID’s in the United States. Some of the broader goals of Business Improvement Districts are to:
- Create a pedestrian friendly environment with clean sidewalks, colorful banners, flowers and public art
- Develop a downtown marketing and image-building campaign
- Protect property values
- Promote public safety
- Attract and retain businesses while protecting and improving the economic potential of existing businesses
- Create an auto supportive environment with sufficient parking, parking meter programs and wayfinding signage
The current Greater Downtown Colorado Springs BID was created by district voters in 2001 and encompasses 31 square blocks, click here for a copy of the BID map. The BID is governed by an eleven member board of directors and funded by a 5-mill tax levy (about $507.50 annually for a commercial property with a market value of $350,000). Residential properties are not subject to the levy. A budget and operating plan is adopted annually and filed with the City of Colorado Springs budget office.
The BID’s PUBLIC SPACE MANGEMENT program includes litter, trash and graffiti control. You can find our uniformed staff downtown pressure washing sidewalks, planting and weeding flower beds, hanging holiday decorations and seasonal banners. In the winter the sidewalk plows are out in the early morning hours.
Partnering with the City, the BID has widened sidewalks, installed pedestrian benches and improved parking options. Partnering with both the City and Colorado Department of Transportation, two gateway bridges, Bijou and Colorado Avenue, were rebuilt and designed to be iconic entryways to the Downtown.
Committees such as SAFE and Premier Downtown Partners concentrate on public safety, ensuring adequate police presence and legal measures in order to thwart inappropriate behaviors.
After an absence of several years, the return of the Monday Acacia Park Farmers Market was a huge hit, incorporating themes, energizing music, and the opportunity for children to frolic in the Uncle Wilber Fountain while their parents shopped. The BID promoted the market with posters, newspaper and radio advertising, and email blasts. Thousands took advantage of the opportunity to purchase local foods and goods and enjoy the summer season in the heart of Downtown.
If a little bit of nachtmusick makes your summer evenings perfect, then the Acacia Park Summer Concert Series is sure to please you. But don't expect Wolfgang, this is music for our times! Performances are on Saturday evenings in June and August.
The Downtown Gift Card, offers the perfect gift from the heart of the City and is accepted by over 110 Downtown merchants; from one-of-a-kind shops, to dining and entertainment, “hard to buy” for just became easy. All with one cool blue card!
The Downtown Map is updated and reprinted every spring to provide an accurate directory of the businesses Downtown and where you can find them. It includes everything from art galleries and museums to specialty shops or that restaurant you’ve always wanted to try.
Typically the BID does not provide “bricks and mortar” financing for the actual development of parking infrastructure due to its limited funding capacity. However the BID through its PARKING AND TRANSPORTATION program is in a position to facilitate parking improvements such as signage, promotion of the Easy Park Card system and, if approved by City Council, free holiday parking.
If you don’t enjoy the adventure of finding the perfect parking site, the downtown has three public parking garages. Check out the parking page here for more parking options.
The BID has also been involved with a broad base of interested parties in studying the feasibility of returning streetcars to Downtown Colorado Springs. If you are interested check out http://www.springsgov.com/page.aspx?navid=2758.