Sherwood: Downtown Laramie is on the Right Track [VIDEO]
Trey Sherwood, executive director of the Laramie Main Street Alliance, says it's tough to see a local business close or downsize, but she's proud of the resources the Laramie community has contributed to make the historic downtown what it is today.
"It's always upsetting because that's a neighbor, that's a friend," says Sherwood. "It's a personal relationship, and when something happens to your friend there's a mournful element of that."
But downtown Laramie is doing well overall. Revitalization is a long-term process, and Sherwood says the Laramie Main Street Alliance has made a lot of progress over the past decade. .
"We're constantly tracking reinvestment," says Sherwood. "Everything looks good, but it's slow and steady."
Sherwood says it is important to continue forward by helping businesses through transitions and seizing opportunities to bring new businesses to the Gem City. She says it is sad to see local businesses fold, but Laramie's downtown is on the right track.
"In general, we're excited that a lot of our existing businesses are looking at expanding," says Sherwood. "Either moving into larger locations and expanding their footprint or doing what we call backdoor selling through e-commerce."
Restaurants and retail stores make up most of the 253 locally-owned businesses operating in downtown Laramie. The historic district also holds 95 residential units.
Sherwood says the district is at 95 percent capacity, meaning 5 percent of downtown space is open and available for redevelopment.
"So those are all good numbers in our minds when we look back to where we were even twenty years ago," says Sherwood. "But that doesn't mean that we're still not pushing forward."
"There's always more that we can do to grow our local businesses," says Sherwood.