Downtown Durango has launched its Bump-Outs for Business program, designed to help local businesses thrive despite the devastating economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In June, the City of Durango, the Business Improvement District, and other local organizations teamed up to transform the layout of Main Avenue. Shops and restaurants between College Drive and 11th Street have now expanded by roughly 10 feet onto the street.
Prioritizing comfort and safety
Maria’s Bookshop has transformed their bump out into a peaceful garden, while the store allows only six customers in at a time. “When we thought about it, we weren’t sure putting merchandise out would work, so we thought about what might work, and this is what we came up with — a place where people can relax,” said Maria’s co-owner Evan Schertz. “It’s a nice place to wait if we’re busy,” he said. Nearby, Durango Coffee Co. and Hermosa Roasters are sharing their bump out, and they’ve both created comfortable and shaded seating areas.
More customers = more revenue
El Moro Spirits and Tavern’s new space features a four-table patio. Proving to be popular with patrons, this is the first time the restaurant has been able to offer outdoor seating. “It’s especially popular with the awning so the sun isn’t beating down on you, and people do feel more comfortable eating outside, where there’s virtually no chance of transmission of the virus,” said general manager, David Woodruff. This new addition increases seating capacity by 40% — a blessing since inside is limited at 50% capacity. “I have a whole other section I can garner revenue from, and it adds to the curb appeal. It’s really a big benefit for us,” Woodruff said.
Hygiene and cleanliness standards
Durango businesses are also maintaining strict hygiene standards. Before reopening, businesses followed government guidelines on cleaning and disinfecting, as well as industry best practices. The two-step process (cleaning followed by disinfecting) is a must to ensure premises are free from Covid-19. Additionally, masks are now worn by staff, who also regularly use hand sanitizer. Customers are required to wear masks to enter any business in the city. However, according to the city ordinance, if people keep six feet apart from others when outside, masks aren’t needed.
So far, the bump out has been considered a success and may be implemented again next summer. Come fall, however, traffic flow in the new layout will be assessed. If congestion is an issue, alternatives will be sought.