ARCHIVED  October 1, 1997

Committee seeks upgrade of Cheyenne’s entrances

New signage creates image of ‘Oasis on the Plains’

CHEYENNE — A new sign welcoming Interstate 80 travelers to Cheyenne says more by its simplicity than a huge, elaborate billboard, said Shane Smith, director of Cheyenne˜s Botanic Gardens.
Smith recently helped dedicate the stone sign marking Cheyenne˜s western gateway and said he hopes it will distinguish Cheyenne from what he sees as the growing similarity and homogenization of approaches to communities along interstate highways.
"We need to hold on to and keep what makes Cheyenne special," he said. "This sign says we˜re an oasis on the plains, it says we have strong and solid people, it says we˜re friendly, and it says we have style."
Smith worked with former Wyoming first lady Jane Sullivan on a series of "gateway" conferences to help communities improve their first appearances — a goal taken to heart by the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce˜s Community Pride Committee.
The committee is planning similar signs for Cheyenne˜s eastern I-80 gateway as well as the I-25 north and south approaches, and chamber president Larry Atwell is hoping that chamber members will not only help in the gateway effort but also continue to take pride in their businesses and their own yards.
"First impressions are important," Atwell said. "When a community looks inviting, people are more inclined to say Ôlet˜s stop.˜ Sometimes we take it for granted and miss some of the good things, but we also miss some of the things we should be working on, too."
Cheyenne recently was designated as one of five Northwestern regional finalists in the "Prettiest Painted Places of America" contest, sponsored by the Paint Quality Institute, the educational arm of one of the world˜s leading manufacturers of paint ingredients.Rubald to step down in Laramie
LARAMIE — Downtown Laramie will lose one of its staunchest supporters later this year when Tim Rubald steps down as director of Laramie˜s Downtown Development Authority.
Rubald has been the director of the authority since it was formed in 1989 and in eight years has worked with downtown merchants and landowners in revitalizing the historic downtown area of a community that bills itself as "Wyoming˜s hometown."
"It˜s got a ways to go, but it˜s a lot better than when I first rode into town," he said. "It˜s changed a lot in the last eight years, and I think for the better, thanks to a lot of hard work by many in downtown Laramie."
His greatest accomplishment, he said, was spearheading the Landmark Square project, the renovation of a downtown block that has anchored Laramie˜s downtown redevelopment efforts and is considered a landmark in historical preservation efforts throughout the state. His greatest disappointment? Not seeing the Landmark Square project reach its full potential as of yet.
DDA chairman Tom Marks praised Rubald for his dedication, his expertise as one of 70 certified "Main Street Managers" in the United States and his efforts as a "behind-the-scenes" facilitator.
Now Rubald is looking in new directions, though he has agreed to stay on through the year until a successor is named. His wife, Terry, former chair of the Wyoming State Board of Equalization, recently was named to head Nevada˜s assessed property division, so Rubald is looking to relocate. "I may do something very similar, or I may do something very different. I just don˜t know yet," he said.Incubator lands computers
CHEYENNE — Wyoming˜s only small-business incubator is getting some computer help from financial institutions in Cheyenne.
The Laramie County Enterprise Center recently received an operations grant from First Bank System through First Bank˜s Cheyenne office to buy a new computer, printer and scanner, and it received three used computers and printers from the Wyoming Employees Federal Credit Union.
The computers will be used by the center˜s staff and the small businesses located at the center, many of which need access to computers but also need to reduce initial startup costs, said director Jim Lamprecht.
The center, located at Laramie County Community College, provides office and light-manufacturing space and support services to new businesses as well as counseling and many other services to new and existing businesses in the area.UW research grants hit record
LARAMIE — University of Wyoming researchers have established another new record for external funding, bringing in almost $40 million in research grants and contracts during fiscal 1997.
That˜s almost $3 million more than the previous year and the 11th straight year the university has set a record for research grants, said UW vice president for research William Gern, who touts research money as important to economic development, both in direct salaries and spinoffs.
"These research funds also generate tens of millions of dollars of secondary economy and lead to secondary job production in Wyoming," he said. "In addition, new businesses start from university projects, helping to expand and diversify the state˜s economic base."
More than 750 proposals submitted by UW faculty and staff members were funded.Dennis E. Curran can be reached at (307) 778-3666 or via fax at (307) 778-3600.

New signage creates image of ‘Oasis on the Plains’

CHEYENNE — A new sign welcoming Interstate 80 travelers to Cheyenne says more by its simplicity than a huge, elaborate billboard, said Shane Smith, director of Cheyenne˜s Botanic Gardens.
Smith recently helped dedicate the stone sign marking Cheyenne˜s western gateway and said he hopes it will distinguish Cheyenne from what he sees as the growing similarity and homogenization of approaches to communities along interstate highways.
"We need to hold on to and keep what makes Cheyenne special," he said. "This sign says we˜re an oasis on the plains, it says we…

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