Office space cleared at maintenance shop for new OCCA marketing director

       Karen Earley's phone is working, there's a desk and chair, and the recently hired Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) marketing director is happily starting to work on ways to increase the number of visitors to the historic shopping area. Recently hired Old Colorado City Associates marketing
director Karen Earley takes in the late-afternoon sun in the
doorway of the office that has been prepared for her in the city-owned maintenance building.
Westside Pioneer photo
       “I've been doing meet-and-greets with the merchants, trying to get an idea of their ideas,” said Earley, who started Dec. 1 as the OCCA's first full-time director in many years.
       Her office, facing onto 25th Street, is in the city-owned building next to the public parking lot between Cucharras Street and Colorado Avenue. Designated years ago for Old Colorado City uses, the building has long housed Security & Maintenance District facilities. The office was being used most recently for OCCA supply storage, and at different times in the past has been made available to part-time OCCA secretarial help.
       Jim Heikes, president of the OCCA, said association volunteers have been cleaning out the space for Earley - including transferring the OCCA phone number - and she was able to move in this week. Other niceties, such as posters, greenery and guest chairs, were still being added. Future upgrades to the office-entry façade could give it more of a historical look, he said.
       Earley, who has previously done marketing work for the Cripple Creek Casino Association and several mountain towns, said she plans to open the office usually at about 8:30 a.m. on weekdays and leave around 5:30 p.m.
       One of her first projects is developing a survey to glean ideas from merchants. “I feel like we're moving toward a new event or two and a promotion that will knock the socks off any other town,” she enthused.
       The office phone is 577-4112.
       At a recent Christmas party, the OCCA honored Nancy Stovall, owner of the Pine Creek Art Gallery, for her 10 years on the board, including two years as president and four as executive director. In the past year, under a contract with the OCCA, she organized all its special events except Territory Days. Event-planning is now part of Earley's job.

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