Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Leader of Downtown Partnership 'stepping down'

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 5:23 PM


Ron Butlin, executive director of the influential Downtown Partnership, has "stepped down" from his post.

Calls by the Indy to the Partnership this afternoon have thus far gone unanswered, but it appears that Butlin did not leave entirely of his own free will, as his resignation is "effective immediately" and a press release did not indicate that he had another position. Butlin said in a press release that he felt a "new era" was opening up for downtown and that he hoped a new leader would handle the changes.

Mayor Steve Bach has been very involved in proposing changes for downtown, which he views as key to Colorado Springs' economic success, though it's not clear whether it was specifically the mayor's influence or objectives that led to Butlin's departure.

Butlin's resignation comes on the heels of another big shake-up in a downtown institution that the mayor had a keen interest in. The city's chamber of commerce and economic development corporation merged earlier in the year into the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance, and former leaders were ousted.

Here are the details:

Downtown Partnership executive director Ron Butlin stepping down

Ron Butlin, executive director of the Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership, the lead organization for planning, advocating and promoting a vibrant downtown Colorado Springs, today announced that he will resign his post, effective immediately.

Butlin became involved in downtown as a vice president of Classic Commercial, working to redevelop southwest downtown. He was selected as executive director of the Downtown Partnership in 2008. During his tenure, his accomplishments have included:

* Helped implement form-based code and a downtown review board to encourage downtown-appropriate construction and facilitate residential development
* Brought record crowds downtown for events like the Olympic Downtown Party, as part of the Downtown * * * Development Authority's economic development plans
* Streetscape improvements and beautification, which recently won an award from the Historic Preservation Alliance of Colorado Springs

"It's been a pleasure to collaborate with the diverse business people, philanthropists and citizens who love downtown," Butlin said. "There's a new era coming to downtown, and I'm stepping down so that someone else can lead us through those changes. I've accomplished what I set out to do, and I'm ready for a new chapter in my career."

"Ron has faithfully served Colorado Springs downtowners and our city for four years," said Sam Eppley, chair of the Downtown Partnership board. "He has expertly guided us through the toughest economic times seen in decades. We are very sad to see him go and wish him every success in his next endeavor."

Hannah Parsons, a downtown business owner, Business Improvement District board member and chair of the downtown marketing committee, will serve as interim director during a local search for a permanent replacement.


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