We spent the day Sunday in Salida, Colorado and the surrounding countryside and what a great place that appears to be. I recall about 20 years ago the downtown was fading and buildings were all in disrepair, the river was gouged out and ugly and the park run down.
The locals took it upon themselves to turn that around and a concerted effort was put into place to make that happen. I am happy to report that it looks absolutely stunning. The buildings are not only in great repair but full of stores and were mostly OPEN on Sunday for the tourists and locals.
We noticed that the downtown has become a gathering place for families and outdoor activities with bike trails, kayaking, swimming in the river, a wonderful park with green grass and a band shell for concerts.
The river has been remodeled into a kayak course with the needed rapids and waterfalls and kids and adults alike were swimming in the currents and eddys. and having a blast.
The one thing you notice about Salida is people were not afraid of change. Most towns these days don't want any change and a lot of times that has to do with control of the local happenings and economy. I have seen this happen dozens of times where small towns have a chance at an industry for growth but often say, "we don't want those kind of people coming to our town." Well those kind of ppl are ppl with money who spend it freely and keep your town viable, the grocery stores open and shops and motels full.
You either move forward now or backward. There is no standing still. And the competition for those dollars is even more intense too as there is less being spent on vacations and other activities by tourists or others.