Woodland Park residents will have a chance next week to share their vision of what a vibrant downtown in their town of 7,500 people could look like.

Downtown Colorado, Inc., a nonprofit that assesses needs and strengths in commercial districts and town centers, will be in Woodland Park Monday, March 31 and Tuesday. Woodland Park officials and DCI are encouraging residents to share their ideas to be a part of the downtown planning process.

On Monday, participants can come to the Ute Pass Cultural Center, 210 E. Midland Ave., to discuss ideas that would improve downtown Woodland Park. Attendees on Tuesday will have the chance to tour the town and meet with government officials and local business owners and then return to the Cultural Center to hear the organizations findings and participate in focus groups.

Monday's event at the Cultural Center is at 7 p.m. and Tuesday's presentation begins at 6 p.m.

The planning sessions come as Woodland Park has recently set its sights on joining a statewide Creative Arts District program, as well as the Colorado Main Street Program, which seeks to improve and revitalize traditional downtowns around the state. Woodland Park government and planning officials belive both programs will serve to help downtowns' cultural and business districts grow and bring more residents and visitors to the area.

City officials and members of the Woodland Park Arts Alliance submitted an application March 3 to become a certified Creative Arts District. Woodland Park has until July 1 to apply with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to be part of the Main Street Program.

Both programs could not only help bring in visitors, but could put Woodland Park on a faster track to receiving grants and other money for downtown revitalization.

Thirteen Colorado Communities have been designated in the Main Street Program. Victor is the only municipality in the Pikes Peak region that has earned the distinction.