Last week the City of Page took its first steps toward beautifying and revitalizing the city’s downtown as well as Block 17. Block 17 is the block where Slackers, Boston’s, Pow Wow Trading Post and the Dam Bar are located.
Last Thursday, several city council members and business owners with businesses in Block 17, met with two representatives from the Community Planning Assistance Teams (CPAT), a branch of the American Institute of Certified Planners. CPAT works with a city to help it identify areas where it wants to improve and helps them implement their improvement plans. The City of Page was approved for a CPAT grant last January, which helps defer a lot of the costs associated with such a project. The city is still on the hook for the planner’s travel and hotel expenses, which will amount to about $10,000 when it’s all said and down, said Lexie Woodward, Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Page.
The first step in the beautification process was identifying an area in town where the city wants to focus its beautification efforts and funds, said Woodward. With many tourist-oriented businesses already established with close proximity to a number of hotels, Block 17 seemed like a logical place to start.
The beautification and revitalization efforts will also include Lake Powell Blvd. from Safeway down the hill to the junction of highway 89 where the city will put in signage to entice tourists to visit Page’s downtown area.
Starting after the Fourth of July the city will also be adding a sidewalk, curbing and gutters which will extend along Lake Powell Blvd. from the Quality Inn to Clubhouse Road. The sidewalk and curbing is expected to be completed by September.
Thursday’s meeting between business owners and CPAT team wasn’t intended to be a one-and-done consultation, just a jumping off point, said Wayne Feiden, who is acting as CPAT’s team leader on the Block 17 beautification project.
“The purpose of today’s meetings is to hear ideas and complaints from business owners in the area and in the future build on that input,” said Feiden.“Our mission is to make communities more livable. The city approached us several months ago asking us to help them make the city look more like a tourist town and improve the quality of life for its residents, to help them identify unmet opportunities and ways to implement the improvements we identify.”
The CPAT team will return in October for a larger community engagement event during which they’ll get additional input from the rest of the community, said Feiden.
“Our goal is to leave a series of things the city can implement in 60 days, a year, up to ten years,” said Feiden.
Feiden was happy with Thursday meetings, he said.
“We’ve been getting great input today,” he said. “We’ve had some diverse opinions but everyone we talked to today agreed that a downtown beautification project would be very welcome.”
Michelle Adams, owner of Lake Powell Massage and Spa Boutique, was one of the business owners who met with the CPAT representatives.
“Page’s main street, Lake Powell Boulevard, is not conducive to tourists,” she said. “They do a lot of aimless wandering. As part of this project I suggested we find a way to direct them from Lake Powell Boulevard over to us. I’ll leave the details how to do that to the planners.”
“I agree with the city that block 17 is good place to make our hub, our downtown.”
The downtown beautification project has been on the city’s radar for a few years, said Woodward. She thinks Thursday’s meeting was a great beginning to what she believes will be an important project for Page.
“The community input we get from these two meetings, this one and the one in October, will give us a scope of work to hire a consultant to do the implementation,” said Woodward.
“Revitalizing block 17 has been one of our strategic priorities for the last several years,” said Mayor Bill Diak.
The mayor said that revitalizing Block 17 is just one piece of a larger Page beautification picture.
“It makes sense to start in our central business district and expand outward from there,” said Diak.