Proposed 12th Street Pedestrian Mall Discouraged
Written by Andrew-Rossi on April 11, 2018
The Cody City Council yesterday heard from a group of downtown merchants regarding the idea of closing off a portion of 12th street to form a downtown pedestrian mall.
Kenny Martin, a former downtown business owner and the director of the nightly summer gunfight, proposed to the Council at their Tuesday work session that the City shut down for the summer the portion of 12th Street that runs in front of the Irma Hotel.
Martin spoke on behalf of the gunfighters, who have experienced close calls with vehicles while setting up for their gunfight in the street in front of the Irma hotel, as well as several other business owners who are concerned about the number of downtown stores that have closed in the last year.
However, several business owners expressed their opposition to the idea, either by contacting their city council representative, or speaking at the work session yesterday. Michelle and Ruffin Prevost, who own Juniper Bar Market Bistro on 12th Street, say shutting down the street would be detrimental to their business because their customers would have no place to park.
Another Sheridan Avenue business owner, Cherie Fisher, agreed with Martin that something should be done to support the downtown businesses, but was not in favor of a 12th Street pedestrian mall. Her concern was that businesses operating out of a tent on the street would be given an unfair advantage financially because the rent is so high for brick and mortar stores in downtown Cody.
The Council as a whole sided against Martin, although they expressed their appreciation for his heart in this matter. Both Donny Anderson and Stan Wolz, along with Mayor Matt Hall, felt that the timing for this proposal was off, and suggested that Martin visit more with downtown business owners over the winter to come up with ideas to boost the vitality of the downtown economy.