Post Independent Opinion |

Post Independent Opinion

Downtown has lots to offer.For the last 20 years, city shopping hubs have been moving away from downtowns. With the opening of Glenwood Meadows last fall, Glenwood Springs is no different.Downtown Glenwood is facing many challenges, including the new competition from the Meadows. Who knows what the future holds for the downtown area and for the many small shops, but for right now, things are going fairly well.The small shops, restaurants and shopping variety offer a nice mix for locals and tourists alike. Tourists may always be the key to success in downtown but locals will always be an important part of the formula.Tuesday’s Downtown Market is another nice addition to the area during the summer.With the competition and shopping convenience of the Meadows, it’s inevitable that some downtown businesses will struggle in the months and years to come.That’s the price of competition. Shoppers are the real winners because more variety is great.The strength of downtown resides with the business owners who are committed to staying in downtown.The Grand Avenue Mall fire was a hurdle that tenants could never have anticipated. Some, like Teddy’s Corner Gift Shop, won’t return. But others like Spagnolo’s Restaurant have already cooked up a comeback plan to return to the same location.Phil Gallagher, owner of Gallagher’s Optical, has been in downtown for 27 years and isn’t eyeing another location. He too hopes to reopen in the Grand Avenue Mall when it’s ready.Optimism can be seen with the reopening of the Riviera Restaurant and The Daily Bread under new ownership.That’s what downtown is about: Optimism, hard work and big plans. And it’s the people who want to make it happen and be part of downtown.With the Hot Springs Pool close by and the train depot dropping tourists off, downtown will always be a vital part of Glenwood Springs. It should remain as quaint as possible and offer variety to whomever stops by.New businesses are opening and reopening around downtown. Things are happening in downtown, just like they continue to happen at the Meadows.Glenwood Springs is a happening place, and for right now, downtown is keeping up.

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