Home Page

Recently installed sign announces existence of Old Colorado City Welcome Center

The Old Colorado City Welcome Center, 2324 W. Colorado Ave is at left, remodeled and repainted and recently given an identifying sign in its front yard. In conjunction with creating the center during the past year, the Old Colorado City Associates business group convinced the city to allow three metered parking spaces in front in a former bus drop-off zone (no longer needed since Goodwill relocated its headquarters). In this photo, all three spaces are in use.
Westside Pioneer photo
Taking a break from the "Mad Hatter Saturday" event March 28, the event's "Alice in Wonderland" namesake (aka William Kirby) offers a cup of tea to visitors beside the recently installed sign for the Old Colorado City Welcome Center. Kirby, who recently moved to the Westside, works as a paraprofessional at Edith Wolford Elementary in Black Forest, but enjoys side jobs portraying the Hatter and other characters that appeal to children. "I'm just a kid at heart," he said.
Westside Pioneer photo
       Now people know what's happening with the building at 2324 W. Colorado Ave. A recently installed sign announces that it's the Old Colorado City Welcome Center.
       The name is displayed on a painted board attached to two posts that were recently set in front of the two-story, converted Victorian-era house.
       Bought last May and remodeled over the following months by the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group, most of the building's first floor is set up as a resource for tourists, particularly in the summer months.
       The building has been in use since last fall, but was incognito before the sign.
       Starting with the weekend of Territory Days (May 23-25), the center will be open Fridays through Sundays until Labor Day, according to OCCA Executive Director Dave Van Ness. Normal hours those days will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., he said.
       Currently, the center is officially open only during special events, such as the “Mad Hatter Saturday” entertainment/promotion March 28 or the upcoming “Taste of OCC' fundraiser for Bancroft Park April 26, Van Ness said.
       Offerings to visitors include brochures provided by area businesses and attractions, as well as the availability of handicapped-accessible bathrooms. Volunteers with the City Police Department's Ambassadors program staff the center when it's open, Van Ness elaborated.
       On a daily basis, the 1,638-square-foot building provides space for OCCA headquarters and an upstairs office for Van Ness, along with two other offices that are leased. The OCCA board's meeting room is also rentable to the public.
       As another amenity for visiting motorists, three on-street, metered parking spaces were marked last year in front of the center. The OCCA had to convince the city to allow them. In previous years, before Goodwill Industries moved its headquarters from Old Colorado City, the north side of the avenue's 2300 block was a bus drop-off zone for workers/clients. Goodwill's former main building is now owned by Junior Achievement of Southern Colorado, which is still in the planning/fundraising stage for future activities.
       A promotional entity for Old Colorado City commerce, the OCCA consists of 50 or so dues-paying businesses in the historic shopping district between 24th and 27th streets and elsewhere along West Colorado Avenue.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 3/29/15; Business: Changes)

Would you like to respond to this article? The Westside Pioneer welcomes letters at editor@westsidepioneer.com. (Click here for letter-writing criteria.)