GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - The first day of spring will be a special day for any ladies who are out shopping, dining and generally checking out what downtown Glenwood Springs has to offer.
A coalition of more than 50 downtown businesses, in conjunction with the Glenwood Springs Downtown Partnership, have teamed up to present "Ladies Day Out" on Wednesday.
The all-day event has been in the works for some time, but just happened to end up falling on the first day of spring, said Erin Zalinski, owner of TreadZ, a footwear, clothing and accessories store on Grand Avenue.
She said it's a perfect tie-in to what she and fellow downtown shop owner Sue Sharp at Confetti Design were trying to accomplish when they hatched the idea over coffee recently.
"We have been wanting to do more of this through the Downtown Partnership, where businesses get together and coordinate something that creates a more cohesive sense of community," Zalinski said. "The idea was to pick a day and pick a theme, and encourage everyone to showcase themselves."
Rather than simply offering sales and discounts, the goal has been to encourage businesses to come up with something "value added," she said.
Participating businesses, which will be indicated by pink balloons, will be giving out door prizes, offering special gifts with purchases of a certain amount, handing out treats, and entering customers in gift-basket drawings.
TreadZ and Confetti have both invited local clothing designers and artists to do trunk shows. In the spirit of the ladies theme, Summit Canyon Mountaineering will also be having a sports bra trunk show.
Even some of the banks and Vicki Lee Green Realtors are getting in on the act with drawings, refreshments and such.
And several area restaurants will be offering food and drink specials for the ladies, and maybe even any of their men who decide to tag along.
"It's not just limited to women, the men can come along, too," Sharp added. "The idea is to get a different clientele coming in that maybe hasn't been to all of the shops downtown."
Several businesses along Sixth Street on the north side of the downtown are also participating, including the Spa of the Rockies at the Hot Springs Pool and Flower Mart.
"It's also fun for us as business owners to know what other businesses are doing," Sharp said.
And, added Zalinski, with the new parking garage and other improvements, it's made the downtown area more accessible.
The city of Glenwood Springs, in partnership with the Downtown Development Authority, recently opened the new two-level parking structure at the corner of Ninth and Cooper.
"We're just trying to encourage people to get out and walk around and see what some of the shops that they maybe haven't checked out before have to offer," Zalinski said. "Our downtown has a full shopping experience.