May 15, 2017
Welcome to Woodland Park
After receiving 14,000 nominations for towns to put in the spotlight during season two of “Small Business Revolution,” we hit the road to visit eight inspiring towns that made our short list of potential finalists. Throughout summer, we’re looking back and sharing the stories of what made each town special – including guest posts from local leaders and some profiles of businesses in these communities. This is the first post in our weeklong focus on Woodland Park, Colorado.
Fewer than 30 miles from Colorado Springs, a gorgeous mountain town called Woodland Park is perched more than 8,000 feet above sea level, earning the community its apt tagline: “The City Above the Clouds.”
Woodland Park was our first stop when the Small Business Revolution crew visited each community on our short list for season two, and it set the tone for the type of passionate and inspiring towns that were in store.
As you stroll along the downtown’s Main Street, you can spot picturesque Pike’s Peak, aka “America’s mountain,” which creates a stunning backdrop. The town, with a population of around 8,000, is one of very few remaining authentic frontier towns. Roaming its streets feels like stepping back in time: The town was developed around the gold and railroad industries, and to this day its historic buildings retain wooden facades reminiscent of old Western movies.
The rustic and eclectic storefronts are filled with warm-hearted small business owners and residents, who are proud of Woodland Park’s heritage but are also committed to establishing the town’s modern identity to set the stage for future success.
Woodland Park also has several beautiful lodges and inns and serves as a great home base for trips into the Rocky Mountains, and it’s known for its ranches and other outdoor recreation. But the community is currently seeking new ways to encourage tourists to stop and enjoy the town’s many diverse small businesses when they’re driving through the mountain pass en route to their final destination, which often includes other so-called “resort towns” in the region.
Woodland Park has launched many innovative efforts to increase traffic at local small businesses and to support the broader community. Examples include rodeos, music festivals, a massive farmers’ market, a variety of holiday festivals, the “Studs and Stilettos” fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity, the annual “Moose is Loose” shopping extravaganza at the popular Tweed’s Fine Furnishing store – and much more. The town also benefits from a strong base of volunteers, including the 100-percent volunteer-run Ute Pass Historical Society, which is helping preserve and showcase the community’s rich history.
Whether you’re looking to relive an old Western movie, stock up on some rustic furniture, grab lunch before a trip into Pike’s Peak (or perhaps a cold beverage after a long hike), Woodland Park has a little something for everyone.
Throughout this week, we’ll be sharing more stories about the small businesses that make Woodland Park special, checking in with key local leaders, and sharing more about the community on social media. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram and here at SmallBusinessRevolution.org.