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Main Street Matters: Spotlight on Bastrop

Nancy Wood

The Texas Main Street office asked me to recap the first eight years of the Bastrop Main Street Program (I’ll be retiring soon) and share any insights from this very successful effort. Let me start at the beginning;

In 2006, the Bastrop Downtown Business Alliance (BDA) and the President of the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation explored the possibility of Bastrop applying to be a Texas Main Street City. The DBA was hosting events downtown, trying to generate some interest in the historic neighborhood; the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa had just opened in the city’s ETJ; and downtown buildings were rundown, with an occupancy rate of about 60 percent and businesses moving regularly. The group presented to City Council and the application was put together; Bastrop was accepted into the statewide program beginning in 2007.

Downtown Bastrop, a Main Street City since 2007, celebrating their First Lady Tour with Former First Lady, Anita Perry.

Next step…hire a program manager. I had a small shop downtown and was ready to close it (yes, I am one of those statistics—open three years and then closing), so I applied to the city to take the job. The city hired me and on February 5, 2007, I started. The next day I went to Winter Training in Austin and was totally bewildered. What I didn’t know at the training was that everything I learned would be valuable information and that the support network I had just entered would be the best I’d ever experienced!

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