EDITOR'S DESK: The Territory Days money
With the news that Territory Days was a financial success this year, the question arises: What will the merchants do with the money they earned from the festival's
vendors and sponsors? In the past, the merchants group (Old Colorado City Associates- OCCA) has occasionally spent money to help beautify their historic
shopping district, but typically the vast part of the nut goes for promotional efforts. And I don't mean for a second here to make that a point of criticism. Bear in mind
that the accidental pot-pourri of privately owned stores that make up our own Old Colorado City are up against slick corporate marketing specialists across the
country - not to mention this region itself! - in an increasingly competitive struggle to attract the almighty shopper. Far be it from me, or anyone, to insist they spend
their money on some worthy cause or another. The reality is that many Old Town businesses lose their shirts personally during Territory Days, but they “take one for
the team” in the belief that it's good exposure for the commercial district as a whole. They've even given up a bigger share of that overall profit in the last couple of
years to pay for enhanced trash cleanup and police enforcement as a gesture to the surrounding neighborhoods.
All I want to do here is support a non-marketing idea that's been floating around that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg and could prove beneficial to the merchants themselves. That would be to follow the Security & Maintenance District's lead in hiring extra-duty police officers (late Friday and Saturday nights this summer). The OCCA could contract for the coverage during the early evening hours to encourage stores to stay open and make shoppers feel safer. Too often we've heard from merchants that the police are never there. Complaining won't change that. But money could.