Downtown Truckee gears up for summer |

Downtown Truckee gears up for summer

Efforts to invigorate downtown Truckee’s economy kick off with a series of events this summer.

Business owners, property owners and the Town of Truckee are working together to attract people to the town’s commercial core through a Main Street Approach to managing downtown.

Two planned events for the summer will be a farmers market on Tuesdays and Truckee Thursdays, a new iteration of last summer’s Truckee Tuesdays.

“Events like these are very important to bring people downtown to have fun,” said Stefanie Olivieri, president of the Truckee Downtown Merchants Association.

Starting at the end of June, Truckee Thursdays will include shops staying open late, sidewalk sales, local specials at restaurants, an artist fair, an open-air flower market and activities for children, Olivieri said.

But potentially more enticing, Olivieri said downtown merchants are working with the town’s redevelopment agency to get free parking from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., when parking becomes free on its own.

“The redevelopment agency could pay the parking district so people get free parking,” said David Griffith, Truckee redevelopment and housing coordinator.

Griffith said they hope to attract locals, second home owners, and tourists to the Thursday event as a way to start off the weekend.

The town may also partner with the forming downtown group to hire a part-time events coordinator, who will work on both Truckee Thursdays and a Tuesday-evening farmers market.

Farmers from the Foothill Farmers Market Association, who will be in Tahoe City on Thursdays and the Truckee River Regional Park Tuesday mornings, would come from 3 to 6 p.m. next to the train depot, Olivieri said.

If the 10-week programs are successful, downtown efforts could grow into a Main Street Program, turning the part-time events coordinator into a full-time executive director, Olivieri said.

From there, a downtown association would split into volunteer committees to tackle topics like promotion and marketing, business retention, and recruiting new businesses into open spaces, Olivieri said.

“We’re moving in small steps,” Olivieri said.

Griffith said he will be taking the downtown plans before town council sometime in June to decide the town’s level of participation, but anticipates a 50-50 split between the town and downtown merchants on costs for hiring a new event coordinator.

Truckee Thursdays will kick off in conjunction with the Tour De Nez bike race on June 19, Olivieri said.

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