Downtown Revitalization

We Activate Your Downtown

Program Mission and Vision Statements & Strategic Planning

At MDS, we believe the story of the West is told through Downtown main streets. They reflect our history, our communities and our shared values. To be successful, all organizations must have a purpose, a dream and an action plan that is vital and shared by staff, boards and commissions, decision-makers, volunteers and other stakeholders external to the organization.

Our firm is recognized as the leader in creating mission and vision statements, providing municipal planning and downtown revitalization services to small communities. We not only develop strategic plans, actions plans, comprehensive plans, and land use regulations and guidelines; we are the end users. Our extensive development review and implementation experience, particularly in Colorado’s smaller communities, means we know how to ensure that the vision contained within any strategic or vision document is translated into the day-to-day decisions of town staff, elected and appointed officials. We work with you and your community to gather data, collect input, play off your assets and provide recommendations and opportunities for your future.

Transformation Strategy Development, Work Planning and Implementation

Using the National Main Street model, MDS can assist your downtown and organization in identifying and developing two to three strategies of long term change to help reach your community vision. Transformation strategies are implemented through work in four broad categories known as the Four Points (design, organization, promotion, and economic vitality).

Transformation strategies articulate a “focused, deliberate path to revitalizing or strengthening a downtown or commercial district’s economy.” They are informed by the district’s market position, and sustained and inclusive community engagement. An effective transformation strategy is defined as one that “serves a particular customer segment, responds to an underserved market demand, or creates a differentiated destination”.

Using your vision, mission, strategic plan and transformational strategies, MDS will partner with the Main Street Manager, board, and key stakeholders to create your annual work plan. The annual work plan should be robust, yet realistic, and contain a detailed list of measurable objectives/actions items. It can be conceptualized as a detailed to-do list that identifies a responsible individual/entity, a timeline, budget, and desired outcome for each action or task to be worked on and/or completed annually.

Capacity Building and Sustainability

Whether you are in the infant stages of forming your organization or are a successful graduate downtown, MDS is committed to integrating our skills and experience to build capacity that aligns with community initiatives, programs, committees, boards and furthers your program.

We have partnered with several communities and organizations to lead, coach and tailor our multi-faceted services to each community’s unique needs by building momentum, advancing the community as well as providing tools for long-term sustainability.

We are currently retained by the Main Street Program in Trinidad as their consultant to build momentum and propel the program. We have successfully recruited, engaged, and trained their Board of Directors; Developed Transformational Strategies and Work Plans and created a signature event moving them several steps closer to Designated Status and long term sustainability. In addition, there are a number of community initiatives and organizations that have emerged from downtown Trinidad including the Trinidad Area Arts Council, Trinidad Arts and Culture Advisory Commission, Main Street, Creative District, some of which have overlapping missions, pool of volunteers and funding. We have utilized the Main Street Transformational Strategy and the City of Trinidad Comprehensive Plan update process to foster relationships, unite community initiatives, volunteer boards and commissions and develop recommendations on organizational structure, funding and decision-making for community-wide recreation, tourism and cultural development.

We also can help you determine the organizational structure that works best for you and your program, create By-laws, Board of Director job descriptions, Budgets and offer fundraising ideas and diversification of funding sources for the community and downtown sustainability.

Creation of Signature Events, Special Event Planning and Management Services

As the Town of Morrison Planning Consultants, MDS is responsible for implementing all long-range planning efforts. After adoption of the Morrison Downtown Revitalization plan, MDS provided event planning and management services for the Morrison Alley Fest, an annual event now in its fifth year. The event is an all day celebration of local art, food and music hosted in Morrison’s alley with the goal of activating underutilized spaces in the downtown and promoting Morrison’s businesses during their slowest time of the year – Springtime.

MDS created a process to recruit, manage and build capacity for volunteers and partnerships – over 50 volunteers have worked on this annual event since its inception and over 6,000 people have attended. We also spearheaded fundraising efforts, budgeting, advertising, festival layout, event monitoring and event set up and tear down. The Town of Morrison has indicated a rise in sales tax revenue and was awarded Best Promotional Event at the 2014 Governor’s Awards.

Streetscape Design and Branding


At MDS, we understand that every community in the West is unique and we love that they are! Attractive, colorful, clean, bright downtowns are vital centers for local citizens as well as places that attract regional and national/international visitors. When it comes to Design, the “sexy point” that communities get real excited about, it’s our philosophical approach to deliver education on best practices in good design; assess existing conditions; facilitate inclusive community engagement strategies using various methods of outreach; and offer design alternatives that preserve unique community character while remaining cognizant of budget and time constraints.

  • "The Trinidad Historic Main Street Board has had the privilege to work with Shawna Hodge. Shawna was very reliable and easy to work with. She anticipated our needs and encouraged us when we felt overwhelmed. Because of all of her help, our community and organization has advanced in the Colorado and National Main Street Program."

    Penny Saeedi Co-chair, Trinidad Historic Main Street Board
  • "Shawna - Thank you for taking the time to come help with our Main Street Mission and Vision workshop for us. I enjoyed it very much and thought you brought a lot of insight and perspective."

    Kim Mitchell Director of Community Programs and Relations, Town of Lyons
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