New Business Development for Lamar, LPI Holds Annual Board Meeting

LPI Board Members

LPI Board Members

The annual report for 2014 for Lamar Partnership Incorporated was delivered to board members by Shawna Hodge, Executive Director this past Wednesday, February 25 at the Lamar Chamber of Commerce offices. The organization’s goal is to educate and broaden the business district of Lamar by promoting Lamar’s cultural, historical and social significance.

Hodge highlighted some of the past accomplishments and on-going projects LPI was affiliated with for the past year. One specific highlight was having Lamar selected as the Colorado Main Street Community of the Year. Lamar was selected as the host city for the State of Colorado American Legion Convention, a music oriented event, the Hotter than Hell Music and Art Festival was originated this past July, LPI partnered with the Lamar High School DECA group to develop a 2015 downtown marketing plan and LPI contributed to the revitalization concepts for Lamar’s Enchanted Forest. Two new businesses were developed in 2014 which created four, full-time jobs and two events attracted almost 800 visitors to the community for the past year.

Turning to some future plans, Hodge told the board, “We’re focusing on the new ‘street-scape’ plans for Main Street and the plans for the 4th and Beech Street Downtown Community Plaza.  They are our first priority for downtown improvements this year.” Hodge explained that this includes the development of the pocket park between Shore Arts Center and Daylight Doughnuts and the alleyways behind the Main Street businesses. Any suggestions for the pocket park will remain open for the next two weeks

A March 11 meeting has been set to work on plans for the summer’s musical, ‘Hotter than Hell’ event, set for July 18.  Organizer, Rose Ann Yates detailed some changes, “We’re going to push the opening hour back to 4pm instead of our earlier time from last year.  It turned out to be very hot and not everyone was ready to come out at that time, so we’ll start at a later point.”  Some music themes for the type of bands will be discussed and Hodge added that there will be more emphasis on street entertainers or performance artists this July.  An upgraded of a Lamar video is being planned.  Hodge said, “There have been some new buildings and upgrades around town and we need to make sure they are featured so we can stay up to date in our presentation.”

Area residents can expect to see some business development over the next few months.  The Diana Lynn Fashion dress shop in the former Amaya’s building will have a soft opening either by the end of February or the first weekend in March.  Owner Diana Woller said, “We’re in the process of installing new carpeting in the store and we should have our clothing moved in shortly, depending on the weather.”  Apparently her family is also interested in purchasing the former Main Café on Main Street, now owned by KVAY radio.  The final estimates for construction costs need to be provided before the owners can submit an application.

Construction and Renovation at Former Parmely Veterinarian

Construction and Renovation at Former Parmely Veterinarian

Other projects underway include renovating the former Parmely Veterinarian business on East Olive as Jensen Stulp, who had his own veterinarian practice on South Main Street several years ago, will take over that operation.

Former Hott Spott on East Olive Street in Lamar

Former Hott Spott on East Olive Street in Lamar

The former Hott Spott, almost right across the street, is coming down and will be replaced by an automatic, belt-driven car wash operation which could employ up to five persons.  Hodge said she has been in contact with a restaurant owner in Garden City, Kansas, who is looking for a turnkey building for a potential Italian restaurant for Lamar.  Several businesses along North and Main Street have been in contact with Hodge for façade renovations and schematics are being developed for funding, principally from the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureBusinessChamber/Local BusinessCommissionerscommunityCountyEconomyEmploymentFeaturedHot TopicsLamarProwers CountyUtilities


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