“I want people down here. People walking. More music. More art. There are some great buildings that just need a little love and people with some cool ideas for businesses to come in.” Tom Dixon, Small Business and Main Street Program Manager for Cañon City
Main Street: The Heart of Cañon City
For those of us who have grown up in Cañon, we have watched Main Street expand and contract. Some of us cruised on Saturday nights, or went with our mothers to Shoes “N Things to buy school clothes. We walked into Ben Franklins with a fistful of change to buy individually wrapped candies. We rented our band instruments from Pat’s Music and returned regularly to buy reeds and cork grease. Natives understand the personality of Main Street: What is, was, and may yet become. Main Street is the heart of Cañon City, and any positive change that comes to Cañon will most likely start downtown.
We have probably all felt the sadness of empty stores as small businesses have opened and shuttered. We have found ourselves alone on Main Street, pining for the days when the streets and stores were hopping.
Those lean days are behind us as more are discovering the beauty, resources, and unique qualities our city on the river has to offer. Technology incubation has moved onto Main Street, and the St. Cloud is coming back to life. At The Hive, we could not be more excited to watch what happens next. And much of what is yet to come relies on Tom Dixon.
Main Street: Where It’s Happening
Dixon is Cañon’s Small Business and Main Street Program Manager, and is committed to attracting new small businesses and helping existing businesses prosper. He sees a thriving Main Street as a key to all growth in Cañon’s business community and is constantly searching for different ways to bring life into Downtown.
“We would love to see more of these beautiful buildings filled with life and activity. We want to hold more events. The more we can draw down here, the more people will see this as a place to just come to see what’s going on.”
Dixon’s focus is two-fold: supporting local businesses and attracting new ones. In his mind, Downtown should be the place where people come to shop, eat, celebrate, and simply hang out. “I want people down here. People walking. More music. More art. There are some great buildings that just need a little love and some people with cool ideas for businesses to come in.”
Dixon and other Cañon City administrators have implemented state-of-the-art marketing programs, Urban Renewal grants, and an active outreach to attract and relocate businesses from outside the borders of Fremont County. “We want other people to see the treasure that is Cañon City.”
Cañon City is an Undiscovered Treasure
Dixon’s overall plan includes getting Cañon on the map as a destination instead of a city on Highway 50. “Cañon has 50 miles of trails, a white water park, cool new businesses, and a new feel downtown.” These are only some of the factors he hopes will convince travelers to stay for a few days. “We don’t want people to pass through Cañon City. We want them to take that one block turn.”