This month’s Sunset Magazine named Sheridan’s Historic Main Street one of the West’s best main streets.
“Not only is a town’s main street a convenient thoroughfare with favorite shops, restaurants, and other local businesses, it’s often the heart and soul of a town,” the magazine states.
What a lovely and accurate description. National awards like this, and we’ve had many over the years, are why the DSA staff, board of directors and hundreds of volunteers work so hard year after year.
I just returned from the Main Street managers quarterly meeting and Wyoming Economic Development Association winter conference in Cheyenne. While the Legislature cut the Wyoming Business Council’s budget 38 percent, they are still talking about the many positive changes happening in our state. The Wyoming Main Street Program continues to work hard for our historic districts and our statewide program is the state’s highest return on investment.
One takeaway is that we must continue to be innovative with our public spaces. To that point, the National Main Street Center announced that Wyoming Main Street has been selected for the “Project for Public Spaces” grant funding. I sometimes refer to this as “placemaking.”
The grant includes an expense-paid training for 40 participants. Our first training is to be held in March or April and I am excited to be participating in this awesome opportunity and look forward to future improvements to our historic downtown district.
We continue to work on ways to enhance and preserve the DSA district with incentives like our Architect and Interior Design Consultation grant. We are also now offering small business, low-interest loans for downtown small businesses and property improvements.
Also, our design committee is currently completing a tour of 10 historic downtown buildings accessible on visitors’ smartphones via the TravelStorys mobile app.
As visitors approach a designated site, TravelStorys launches GPS-triggered audio stories that transforms information into memorable travel experiences.
Another exciting development is that the Alliance for Historic Wyoming approved funding for the Sheridan Elks Lodge 520 to receive the Historic Architecture Assistance Grant Funds.
This fund connects historic preservation architects and engineers with historic building owners, helping owners address rehabilitation issues with a comprehensive plan that both honors the building’s past and meets the owner’s future needs. The program is offered by the AHW in partnership with Wyoming Main Street and the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office, and is made possible by a grant from the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund.
The Elks have already made some nice upgrades and anticipate a complete renovation of this historic building. Make your plans to attend the 18th annual Wild West Wine Fest on March 3, and check out the new dance floor in the upstairs ballroom while sampling more than 100 wines and beers.
The Wild West Wine Festival is our biggest annual fundraiser. We greatly appreciate all of our sponsors and members for their continued support. Tickets are on sale now at www.downtownsheridan.org. For more information or to support our efforts by becoming a member, sponsor or volunteer, call our office at 672-8881.
Beth Holsinger is the executive director of the Downtown Sheridan Association.