Georgetown, Colorado – at the base of the Rocky Mountains – decided to accentuate its history and go from being a rest stop for tourists en route to ski resorts to a destination in its own right. The community capitalized on National Park Service historic preservation grants to become one of the most successful Certified Local Governments in the country. The town’s appeal is rooted in its mining past and historic architecture, so preservation is key. Georgetown used funding from the Preserve America program to create signs that would entice visitors to explore, shop, and dine in its downtown, a national historic landmark district. A local historian produced educational markers to highlight distinctive buildings, and a NPS Save America’s Treasures grant, matched by the State Historical Fund, helped to rehabilitate an abandoned old school to make it ready to serve again. “Helping local governments prosper and create vibrant, livable communities through historic preservation is the ultimate goal,” according to Megan Brown, coordinator of the NPS’s Certified Local Government program. “Georgetown is a shining example of a strong local partner in the National Park Service’s preservation programs.”
The National Park Service helps local citizens save their history and attract heritage tourism to revitalize their communities – making America’s Best Idea even better.