Rocky Mountain Power Foundation Donates to David Street Station

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Leslie Blythe, 307.259.6904

Casper’s Downtown Development Authority Receives Donation

From Rocky Mountain Power Foundation

A $10,000 grant from the Rocky Mountain Power Foundation will assist with the Downtown Development Authority’s continued work on the David Street Station, an outdoor public place in the heart of Casper.

“Rocky Mountain Power and their charitable Foundation truly are partners in our great community. We are honored to accept this generous donation and eager to reinvest it back into the community through what is truly a civic project – David Street Station. We can’t thank Rocky Mountain Power and their Foundation enough for believing in us, our project, and our amazing community here in Casper” said Kevin Hawley, Director of the DDA.

“We are pleased to support the Downtown Development Authority with this donation from our Foundation,” said Leslie Blythe, Rocky Mountain Power regional business manager. “As part of this community, Rocky Mountain Power is grateful for all the work the program does in the Casper area.”

About David Street Station:

David Street Station, an outdoor civic space in the heart of downtown Casper, is currently under construction. Phase I construction, which includes a band shell, walkways, lighting, and landscaping, is set to be completed in August 2017. Phase II construction is set to begin in the summer of 2017 and will feature a free splash pad, pop up performance area, vendor space, restrooms, and observation deck. David Street Station will offer free community activities, open and accessible to all, in a safe, clean, and beautifully maintained facility. Common sights will be children giggling as they run through the community splash pad or families sitting together on a blanket enjoying one of the many free community movie nights. Additional activities will include Live Performances, Festivals, Community Fundraisers, and a Farmers Market.

 

About the Rocky Mountain Power Foundation:

The Rocky Mountain Power Foundation is part of the PacifiCorp Foundation, one of the largest utility-endowed foundations in the United States. The foundation was created in 1988 by PacifiCorp, an electric utility serving 1.8 million customers in six Western states as Rocky Mountain Power (Utah, Wyoming and Idaho) and Pacific Power (Oregon, Washington and California). The foundation’s mission, through charitable investments, is to support the growth and vitality of the communities served by Pacific Power and Rocky Mountain Power. For more information, visit www.rockymountainpower.net/foundation.

Now Hiring – Operations Manager – David Street Station

Please find the attached job description and application below. If emailing, please reference Operations Manager and use all caps in the subject line.  Letter of Interest must be attached and will not be accepted as body of email. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. All applications for this position must be submitted by 2 P.M. on Friday, May 5th.

DSS_Operations Manager description

DSS_Employment application

Please email applications to ceo@downtowncasper.com

Downtown Development Authority

341 W. Yellowstone Hwy.

Casper, WY 82601

Now Hiring-Parking Garage Attendant

Casper Downtown Development Authority

Downtown Parking Garage Attendant

Click here to get the application!

Classification:  Guest Services Agent (part time)

30 Hours per week

This is an hourly position with no benefits.

Reports:

Attends designated parking area or a booth at a pay-for-parking entrance/exit during established lot hours. Directs drivers of vehicles to appropriate parking areas. Collects parking fees and provides information to visitors. Provides daily cleaning and maintenance of grounds, including snow removal of lots and/or assigned areas downtown. Monitors and/or patrols lots to check for required permits and to ensure cars are parked in designated spaces. This position reports to the Parking Garage Supervisor.

Examples of Duties:

  • Regulates parking and traffic in assigned lot restricting unauthorized vehicles and providing entry to authorized vehicles.
  • Collects parking fees from customer based on charges for amount of time parked or standard lot fee; issues receipts upon customer request.
  • Enters transactions on cash register or other approved means and balances cash with register tape according to an established procedure.
  • Completes reports or forms required by department.
  • Counts parked vehicles and holds required spaces for reservations; places sign in view when lot is full.
  • Provides directions, parking alternatives and information upon request to customers and visitors.
  • Prepares temporary permits as required for customer.
  • Notifies Parking Services via two-way radio or telephone of need for Parking Enforcement Officer or of other problems such as mechanical failure and vehicle tampering.
  • Watches assigned lot for suspicious activity and reports such to main office and public safety unit.
  • Checks permits to verify authorization and assist in identification of stolen permits.
  • Daily cleaning of lots and grounds to provide for a pleasant customer experience.
  • Operation of ATV for snow removal services on grounds or assigned areas downtown
  • Operation of gas powered “sweeper” to clean surface parking areas.
  • Other duties, as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of general parking practices and procedures.
  • Skill in basic math.
  • Skill in courteous communication with public.
  • Skill in accurate exchange of coins and currency.
  • Skill in following verbal and written instructions.

Physical demands/work environment:

  • Periods of sitting and occasional lifting (50lbs or less) is typical for this position.
  • Periods of work outside in the elements: cleaning, snow removal, lot patrol/inspection.

Minimum Qualifications:

Six months’ parking lot operations or related experience; OR, Any equivalent combination of experience and/or education from which comparable knowledge, skills and abilities have been achieved.

The Casper DDA is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Update on David Street Station

The Old Yellowstone District has gone through several remodels and revamping over the past few years, and now there’s another addition to the business sector there.

News 13s Justin Roth took a look at what’s in store for the future.

The Old Yellowstone District remodel has been slowly moving along… With the new streets, walkways, lighting, and new businesses.

You may have noticed small changes to the Old Yellowstone District and the David Street Station lately

Kevin Hawley is the Executive Director of Downtown Development Authority he says, “Currently were in development of phase one construction were fortunately enough have an award to a local contractor in Casper’s buildings systems so there working on the western half of the full project which would include the band shell, lawn area, the promenade walkway, the poles and lightnings we’ll have all the infrastructure in place in store ready for the total eclipse next year.

The David Street Station is running on schedule, and new businesses are springing up

Lauren Griffith is Owner of Urban Bottle a new liquor store that opened their doors Monday she says, “We love the area were in and we already see other businesses popping up all over. We’ve got the David Street Station we’ve got the possibility of state building going in across the street from us, and then with the changing hands in some other buildings down here we just see nothing but good things coming our way.”

It’s changes to the Old Yellowstone District that make new businesses popping up everyday. Urban bottle just opened up Monday.

And Hawley says Urban Bottle isn’t the only one.

“Nows the time. Were seeing tremendous private sector investment in downtown and in the Old Yellowstone District it’s just a really exciting time with the public investment it has spurred significant investment in the private sector. So if you’ve ever thought about relocating your business downtown needed some office space or maybe you wanted to do some retail or commercial space we’ve got that too and we’d be excited to have you. There’s a ton of energy downtown right now and just a lot going on.”

Griffith says she can feel the excitement already.

“We feel like theres a lot of energy down here and a lot of potential for growth and we just love the atmosphere that the downtown provides.”

Its that energy and excitement coupled with new downtown projects that’s making downtown Casper a vibrant place.

Hawley says the new David Street Station will be done in time for Casper’s big event, the 2017 Great American Eclipse.

Small businesses gear up for holiday shopping days

Books, clothes, outdoor gear, toys, bath soaps, cooking spices, hobby supplies, massages, movies, dinner, coffee, artwork.

Small businesses across Casper are stocked with these and more holiday gifts, with many offering sales, events, treats and other goodies to draw customers this holiday season. One of the biggest shopping days of the year for many of them is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, known as Small Business Saturday.

The growing movement promotes locally-owned shops to support them and the local economy while strengthening the community.

 Shopping local generates tax dollars for the town, county and state, and importantly, it generates local income, said Anne Alexander, who earned her doctorate degree in economics at University of Wyoming and is the Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Education there.

“When we shop locally, our neighbors who own and work at small businesses use the money to pay payroll, insurance, their light bill, their grocery bill,” Alexander said in an email. “The holidays, especially events like Small Business Saturday, can get people into stores and shops and using services they may not have ever explored or thought about before.”

Supporting, being part of local community

Small Business Saturday is an alternative to online shopping or big-box stores’ Black Friday deals, said Nicole Crabb, co-owner and art director of Rally Shop Local, a marketing and media company for local businesses.

The company is kicking off the holiday shopping season with a Small Business Saturday event Nov. 26 at Scarlow’s Gallery downtown with a pop-up bar, coffee and shuttle rides. The event is designed to spotlight local shops, restaurants and services with a fun, social event, Crabb said.

“When you spend your money locally, you’re supporting your community,” Crabb said. “Basically the people in the businesses is what makes Casper, Casper.”

Claire Marlow is the owner of Scarlow’s Gallery and the adjoining Goedicke’s Custom Framing & Art Supply, as well as a new mother of an 8-month-old. She also looks forward to kicking off holiday shopping season with an event that people will enjoy, she said.

The best part of running a small business is getting to know customers and drawing the community closer with events from this weekend’s event to the monthly Casper Art Walks, she said.

Business has been slower this year with Wyoming’s economic downturn for her and her fellow downtown businesses. Small businesses often are forgotten and hit hardest, Marlow said.

“Everyone is definitely feeling it, and I think that’s why we work so hard and are doing these sorts of events,” Marlow said. “It’s not just to spend money, but to come out and be a part of it.”

Local shopping is crucial to keeping small bookstores and other shops alive, and the holidays are an important time for them, Wind City Books owner Vicki Burger said.

“I think for any retail businesses the Christmas season is vital and part of your projection of your budget for the coming year,” Burger said.

“For any retail business, it’s a large percentage of your annual income.”

Sylvia Hiler opened Alpenglow, a health food and products store, nearly three decades ago and has seen online shopping hit local businesses, including hers. She believes the local shopping movements are beginning bring more business to local shops, and she’s seen more young people in the store lately.

“It’s especially important to Wyoming because of the downturn in the industries,” Hiler said. “If we had all those tax dollars that are going to the internet, we could definitely use them in this state.”

Visitors to local shops will see fliers that Rally and Backwards Distillery recently posted around local storefronts detailing the impact of Amazon sales in Wyoming. Numbers they gathered from civiceconomics.com state that last year Amazon sold $116.7 million to Wyoming while avoiding $6.3 million in state and local sales tax.

Small Business Saturday started as an American Express initiative in 2010 and is celebrated by mom-and-pop shops around the country.

“The Small Business Saturday numbers indicate that since this became an emphasis – in response to Black Friday craziness – about a third of Americans shop small on Small Business Saturday,” Alexander said. “More than $14 billion is spent in local small businesses on that day alone. That’s pretty impressive.”

Outside the box

 Local businesses can offer a higher level of service and more fun shopping experiences, Burger said. For instance, several customers come in to her bookstore each year with lists of ages and genders of their grandchildren or nieces and nephews.

Burger and her staff members walk them through the store and help them pick out books, which customers later tell them were hits, she said. The store also offers pricing competitive with Amazon though its website, and customers online or in person can order any book not in stock to arrive within days, Burger said.

Reed Merschat looks forward to the first holiday season of his new antiques and collectibles store, Survivor AC Dealers. People can find antique display items and quirky, functional home items increasingly popular with retro-obsessed younger crowds. You can’t find any of that at a big-box store, he said.

“If you’re into older electronics or antique glass figurines or whatever, usually you can find something that somebody will enjoy,” Merschat said. “It’s got a better story than new items.”

Local shops are scattered throughout Casper and surrounding communities, offering everything from music to fishing and camping gear, Crabb said. She encourages people to also consider gift certificates for locally-owned restaurants, spas, salons, massage therapists, coffee and other businesses that remind people to take time out for themselves.

“Those are some of the best gifts,” she said.

Local businesses often serve treats and run specials on Small Business Saturday.

“It really can build a sense of community,” Alexander said. “It feels a little less commercial and a lot more like a community celebration, in my opinion. More in spirit with the season.”

Supporting local businesses keeps unique stores in town and benefits not just local families, but the entire community, Crabb said. They in turn support other local artists, artisans and business and often local charities – often without recognition.

“These are people who know what people need in Casper,” Crabb said. “They have our local flavor here … and you get to know your community here. It’s the relationship.”

 Follow reporter Elysia Conner on Twitter @ink_pix

Casper businesses look forward to Black Friday boost

For 12 years, Kathy Edwards has decked out her jewelry store for her busiest day of the holiday season — Black Friday.

Every year, a handful of regulars stop by her store, The Cadillac Cowgirl, the day after Thanksgiving, she said. They’ve come to expect the Black Friday deals and like to check in with Edwards’ children, who have worked in the store off and on for years, she said.

“It’s more than just shopping, it’s catching up with your neighbors,” she said. “It’s an experience.”

 Although Black Friday shopping was popularized by corporate retailers, small businesses in Casper have taken advantage of the national trend to attract customers. But unlike customers at larger stores who have to wait in lines and fight through crowds to do their shopping, shoppers in Casper experience a Black Friday that’s a more low-key family affair. Many stores are also expanding their Black Friday deals into the following Saturday.

An increasing number of local businesses have been participating in Black Friday sales and Small Business Saturday, said Gilda Lara, executive director of the Casper Chamber of Commerce. The holiday season is a key time for small businesses to make money, she said, and Black Friday sales set the tone for the season.

Mike Stepp, owner of Donells Candies, said Black Friday is the big kickoff for the store’s holiday season, which is especially important after a few years of sluggish sales.

“They call it Black Friday because that’s when you finally start to break into the black” and make a profit, Stepp said.

The amount of product sold that day often predicts how sales will be through the holiday season, he said, though sometimes bad weather keeps people home.

Some more specialized stores, like Wyoming Camera Outfitters, have a more difficult time creating Black Friday sales, especially when operating on an already slim profit margin.

Owner William “Dinty” Miller said the camera store is always competing with internet prices. Instead of setting its own Black Friday discounts, the store passes on the Black Friday deals from the camera companies, like Canon.

Business has been pretty steady despite Casper’s most recent economic downturn because the store has a regional customer base, but the expected Black Friday bump is always welcome.

“It’s important to support your local economies,” he said. “The internet is the internet, and it’s its own monster, but the internet can’t do a lot of the things we can.”

Local, family-owned businesses are important to creating a sense of community in Casper, the business owners said. The mixture of businesses downtown makes sure there’s shopping to be done for every member of the family, Edwards said.

“To me it’s a thing to do, not a chore,” she said. “It’s not like sitting outside the big box store at 4 a.m. It’s fun, and you can do it with your family.”

 Follow crime and courts reporter Elise Schmelzer on Twitter @eliseschmelzer