COLORADO SPRINGS — Growth in downtown Colorado Springs for 2021 is going into the record books. The Downtown Partnership reports the opening of 37 street-level businesses, bringing the vacancy rate down to just 3% for downtown retail space.
"Downtown is amazing, I really believe it's going through a renaissance right now," said Inherent Clothier Owner, Taylor Draper. He opened the store in April of 2021. He recognized an improving business climate in the downtown area and made the move to put his business plan in action.
“The landscape downtown didn’t even look anything close to what it did even three years ago, so I can’t wait to see where it goes the next five, 10 years.”
Another downtown newcomer is Kinship Landing. A boutique inn, café, and gathering place. "Something like the living room of a community,” said Owner, Bobby Mikulas. He believes Colorado Springs is the right fit for the Inn’s business model. "A little bit smaller, a little bit more intimate, and hometown, but still having a lot of those cultural and outdoor amenities that are really important to us."
The business owners know their success is more likely if other downtown businesses also do well. They believe the current energized business climate can continue, especially if unique and one of kind businesses are a significant part of the future. "It's going to be super important that we embrace funky, unique, locally owned businesses,” said Mikulas, “[We] need that, break the mold a little bit and really express what is unique about Colorado Springs."
The close of 2021 does not end the momentum. Kate Frank, the Economic Development Director for Downtown Partnership said there are “a dozen” more businesses working toward opening in the first half of 2022.