The Town of Fairplay has been planning various aspects of Fairplay Forward for more than a decade, and is proud to announce that the project, and the accompanying website, is finally off the ground.

The primary objective of Fairplay Forward is to develop a community-driven strategy to be used to guide the physical and economic development of the downtown and the rest of Fairplay.

The Fairplay Forward website can be accessed at www.fairplayforward.com, or www.fairplayartsnow.com, and it describes in detail the origin and purpose of Fairplay Forward. The site states the following:

“In 2009, the Town of Fairplay received a grant from the State of Colorado to bring local artists together to discuss ways that Fairplay could engage them to better enhance the recognition of the many varied artists and makers in our community. We had lots of meetings and the idea of ‘Fairplay Arts Now’ was born. The idea was simple really – create an organization that would promote and celebrate arts in the Fairplay area. 

The Town has done this for many years now through events, promotions and marketing, and collaboration with similarly minded entities. The Town has even designated space in the building at 501 Main to be a “Local Arts Center/Gallery” upon renovation.

Ten years later, in 2019, the Town of Fairplay embarked on a downtown assessment project that was quickly named “Fairplay Forward” by the group of Fairplay business owners that participated in this community-driven effort. This group, along with the Town Board and Town staff, passionately believes that Fairplay represents the best of what Colorado has to offer. Downtown Fairplay is a truly authentic and unique place that reflects the community’s heritage and offers a window into Colorado’s history. Most people in our community already recognize that downtown is a special place.

The motivation behind Fairplay Forward was to develop a community-driven strategy to be used to guide the physical and economic development of the downtown and the rest of Fairplay. Fairplay Forward works to preserve what people love about Fairplay while helping the community realize their aspirations for the future.

One of the actions that came out of the Fairplay Forward project was the development of an Economic and Business Development Advisory Board made up of members of the business community. The purpose of this nine-member advisory board is to help guide the Town through development of programs, marketing, and events that will create the highest and best use of Town funds to generate appropriate economic development for Fairplay.

The development and marketing of this website is part of that effort – obviously, it was not planned, but due to COVID-19, we have had to pivot and consider innovative ways to bolster our local business economy. We are hopeful that this website will become a resource for locals and visitors as we move forward – and especially during this upcoming holiday season.

Learn more about Fairplay Forward at www.downtownfairplay.com.”

One person who is especially excited that Fairplay Forward is up and running is Town Administrator Tina Darrah. She has worked tirelessly with Mayor Frank Just and members of the Town of Fairplay Board of Trustees to conceptualize, launch and market the project.

“We are really excited about the launch of our virtual marketplace,” Darrah said. “We see this as an asset to every business that chooses to participate and are especially excited for the South Park artist community to have another outlet for selling their products. Our hope is that we can continue to grow the website and make it a viable resource for shoppers – local and tourists. Buying locally made products and gift cards from the comfort of your own home is a safe and easy way to support our local businesses.”

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