the Colaborative Inc

Durango Chamber of Commerce

Client: City of Durango

Site: Durango, Colorado

The town of Durango, Colorado is a resort community that hosts visitors year-round. Known for its historic aura, Durango’s biggest tourist attraction is the town itself. Located in the mountainous region of Southwest Colorado, Durango is situated at an elevation of 6500 feet. Durango hosts skiers in the winter, backpackers and river rafters in the summer, visitors to Mesa Verde National Park, and families riding the historic Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway. The Collaborative responded to a city divided between a desire for a chamber of commerce building that was sensitive to the historic character of the town, and one creating a progressive new image. Our design solution incorporated many contemporary forms adapted from nearby historic mining structures. The entry design placed the pedestrian access facing the Animas riverfront to offer a pleasant departure from the highway corridor. Site design included a Master Plan for a riverfront park with facilities for pedestrians, kayak enthusiasts, and commercial rafting ventures. The parking and circulation plan accommodated RV’s and tractor-trailers separately from passenger cars. The design of the new facility changed the image of this organization and the way tourists perceived the community – even the way the community perceived itself. The previous Chamber of Commerce building was an old A-frame bungalow, not well located for visitor traffic. Within a year after construction of the new facility, the Chamber of Commerce became the Durango Area Chamber and Resort Association, complete with a new executive director. DACRA now takes a much more active role in , business and community marketing. They are planning a building expansion, to respond to the needs of a larger staff. This is a classic example of how a building program represented the needs of the clients and facilitated the achievement of the goals of the organization. Today, 1,500 to 2,500 people per day utilize this 2,400 square foot information center.