Estes Park: A place like no other! It stands in a stunning location, with spectacular views, rushing rivers and a lively Downtown. Community members are energetic, care about the Town's future and seek to assure a high quality of life for residents, workers and visitors. Downtown is also challenged. Its rivers are outstanding assets, but present serious flood risks. Rising visitor populations from regional locations and from afar help drive Downtown's economy, but also result in impacts that require management and mitigation. Improving circulation and access, accommodating more housing, and building a more resilient community are everyday discussion topics for residents.
This Plan addresses Downtown's challenges and opportunities, and sets a vision for a more resilient future that benefits the community at large. The Town has experienced shocks, including natural disasters, economic instability and swings in visitor populations. In each case, it has proven its ability to rebound. This Plan recommends actions that will minimize future shocks and support a more stable economy. The Plan sets forth several proposals for improving resilience. Some focus on broadening Downtown's economic base and strengthening its social and cultural networks. Others seek to minimize flood risks. While the Plan focuses on Downtown, it benefits the entire community by establishing a solid vision and framework for the future of the Town's economic and cultural heart.
In 2015, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs awarded a planning grant from the State Energy and Mineral Impact Fund to prepare a Downtown Plan. The Downtown Plan process was intended to result in documentation of a community-driven vision for Downtown over the next 20 years. The Estes Park Downtown Plan guides future Downtown development and infrastructure investments. The planning process was undertaken over the course of 2017 and 2018, and explored a range of Downtown topics with the community, including the character of development, multi-modal circulation, flood mitigation, parking strategies and more.