Salida’s Summer Successes

Summer in Salida this year has been full of exciting events and milestones sure to make the community happy. I, for one, am extremely proud of all that community organizations, City of Salida staff and citizens have accomplished in the first half of the year and particularly this busy summer season of 2014.

Sales tax collections for the first half of the year are up 5.5% compared to the first half of 2013. This is great news that shows a turnaround in our economy happening in Salida. I hope that everyone is feeling the positive effect of the increased activity and business in town.

Although it was still the Spring ‘shoulder season’ and not yet officially summer at the time, the unofficial kickoff to the season occurred when over 380 artists, arts administrators and creative entrepreneurs convened on Salida for the 3rd Annual Colorado Creative Industries’ Summit May 1st and 2nd. It was the first time the SteamPlant and the City have hosted such a large event; creative planning went into making it a success. This large event surely helped to increase business in town; sales tax collections reflected the influx of visitors with sales tax collections up 11.7% in April and 8.9% in May over 2013 figures.

The special events and projects that happen during the ‘shoulder seasons’ of spring and fall truly boost Salida’s economy, helping us through the relatively slower business months of March-May and September-November. The filming of the latest installment in the “Fast & Furious” movie series last fall near Salida proved a great boon to our local economy, with October 2013 sales tax collections up 13.8% over October 2012 figures. We all benefit when community organizations, businesses and the City bring special events to Salida during the ‘shoulder seasons.’

Thank you to all the businesses and organizations that take on planning these special events. Everyone involved does a tremendous job hosting the thousands of visitors that come to our town during the special events, and during the peak tourist season that spans the summer.

To name a few, this summer’s FIBArk Festival, ArtWalk, Brewer’s Rendezvous, Thursday @ 6 free concerts, Symphonic Salida, Walden Chamber music concerts, Salida Classic Cycling Event, Angel of Shavano Car Show, Salida Aspen Concerts, and Jazz on the Plaza at the SteamPlant (which continues on Sundays through August 31) have all been tremendous successes. There have been numerous events and programs beyond those mentioned that have all added to Salida’s increase in visitors and business this summer.

I look forward to more events through the end of the summer including Jazz on the Plaza, The Pro Cycling Challenge that will be coming through town on Wednesday, Second Saturday Art Events, the Chamber’s Wine Festival and the Labor Day Hometown Picnic on Sunday, August 31. The rest of the year will surely be as successful as the first half of the year. I look forward to celebrating more of those successes with all of you!

Mayor Jim Dickson