I’ve lived in Loveland, Colorado for 11 years, and I’ve seen the city go through big changes. An outdoor, destination mall was developed, a Level Two trauma center was opened, there are now two WalMarts and massive construction projects have taken place on many streets and freeways around the City.
Downtown, however, always seemed to be lagging behind, and like many downtowns across the country, empty storefronts continued to be a blight on what was otherwise a lovely historic district.
Today, some exciting things are taking place in downtown Loveland, and I feel like the momentum is better than ever before. The very fact that I am writing this blog post while sitting in a downtown Loveland coworking space is proof positive that good things are happening around here.
Downtown Loveland has always had good stuff. A bookstore is the heart and soul of a downtown. My husband and I discovered Anthology Book Co., before we even moved to Loveland.
The much-loved store has been in the community for many, many years, and this summer, Anthology underwent a huge remodel and now features a full café with a delicious menu. They also obtained a liquor license and serve beer and wine.
The Rialto Theater has always been a gem in downtown Loveland’s crown. Today, the Rialto Theater Center, as it is now called, features a brand new second story conference facility overlooking 4th Street. Loveland’s first TEDx was held there earlier this year.
In the space below the Rialto Theater Center, there’s some real good stuff cooking. Next Door Food & Drink is a fabulous new tapas restaurant serving up top-notch food to Loveland patrons who have been hungry for something different in downtown.
As coworkers at The Armory, we are within a two minute walk to several coffee shops including The Coffee Tree and City News. We can lunch at a multitude of restaurants from fresh Mexican food to gyros. And if we want to indulge in happy hour we’re within walking distances of several new establishments, including Loveland’s newest brewery, Loveland Aleworks, Tommy Gun’s Hideout and Generations Martini Bar.
So there you have it - where you have coworkers you have a thriving downtown. Empty storefronts still loom, but the mere fact that young, independent workers gather at The Armory every day on the west end of downtown Loveland, is a good sign for the city at large.
Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer is a freelance writer and founder of HeidiTown.com. She has been coworking since early 2010.