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Town of Elizabeth struggles to find identity as town grows

Posted: 9:47 AM, Dec 14, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-15 22:31:29Z
Welcome to Elizabeth sign

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ELIZABETH, Colo. — With a population of just 1,400, Elizabeth, Colorado may be nice and quiet, but it has struggled to find an identity. It's now working to change that.

Something new is brewing on Main Street that could wake up the sleepy town: The Elizabeth Brewing Company is opening its doors.

“We’re hoping to be the catalyst in driving business down here,” said brewery President Tony Briggs. “It goes from Main Street to ghost town as soon as the businesses close their doors at five or six o’clock.”

Newly-elected Mayor Megan Vasquez said she has seen first-hand the new life on Main Street paired with the growth.

“It’s very important for our town to grow,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be largely, and it can be controlled and strategically done. That’s what we want to do.”

Resident Christine Ware’s property backs up to a massive new clustered home development on the west side of town, where more than 700 homes are scheduled to go up.

"Fear? No. Just disappointment. It’s just sad. That’s how I see it," she said.

Ware said she isn’t against the growth, but believes the town and county need to do more planning in the future.

“We’re going to have all these homes, but no commercial," she said.

Ware said she is also concerned about traffic moving through town and the subsequent need for more traffic lights.

The growth certainly brings out critics with even stronger views — the ones who don’t want to see any growth at all. Some of them said they moved to Elizabeth for peace and quiet and that’s how they want it to stay.

Mayor Vasquez said growth is key to keeping the fire and police departments running and keeping the schools in the area open.

As for industry, Vasquez said feedback has been good on the new brewery. Her hope is that Main Street comes back alive with mom and pop businesses and destination stores, she said.