Downtown Rifle businesses could see more customers, the area's appearance could get a facelift, and more people will hear about downtown events, if Dana Ingram is successful.
At least, that's the goal Ingram, the city of Rifle and the Rifle Regional Economic Development Corp. have for her new duties. Ingram is the part-time communications coordinator for the economic development group and part-time Main Street coordinator.
City Council last month agreed to designate $6,000, originally intended for a part-time grant coordinator position that was not filled, toward a Main Street program coordinator position for the rest of this year.
The position might become full-time next year, if council approves the position in the city budget process. Rifle could become part of the national Main Street program at that time.
Ingram said she has lived in Colorado for six years, and is originally from Michigan. She has been a Rifle resident for the last year, after relocating from Silverthorne.
Ingram has a background in marketing and advertising for nonprofit groups, she said.
"I have a lot of new things to learn," Ingram said. "So far, I've been mostly educating myself about what's going on."
Ingram noted economic development incentives, such as those offered by the Rifle group, can take 20 - 30 years to bear fruit, in some cases.
"But it's really great that we have the new movie theater, and maybe we'll get a recreation center and an events center," she added of the projects the group has helped become reality or move in that direction.
Rifle Regional Economic Development Corp. President Michael Langhorne said the Main Street program can be an important part of making downtown Rifle more "vibrant."
"One thing we want to do is categorize the downtown vacancy rate, so we can help let people know what's available," he said. "We hope to increase the incentive programs we can offer through the Main Street program, too, in terms of business expansion."
"It would be great to see downtown Rifle become a hub for the city," Ingram added.
Eventually, Rifle's Main Street program may become a "sister" program for downtowns in New Castle and Parachute, Ingram noted.