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ESTES PARK, CO-This mountain town is more than a place to buy plastic tomahawks or fudge. It’s the gateway to the Rocky Mountain National Park.

And since 1984, its 1.5-mile Riverwalk has helped revitalize Downtown and helps make Estes Park a destination rather than a pass-through point for tourists.

Design Studios West of Denver has been integral in the Riverwalk from the beginning. Downtown improvements include new flood control measures lighting, walkways and benches. It’s estimated that the $6 million public projects has increased downtown sales tax revenues by 800%.

Now, Design Studios West is embarking on an $8-million to $10-million extension of the Riverwalk closer to the national park. The new section could include a performance area, a waterwall and a kayak course.

The new West Corridor Master Plan ”will extend the Riverwalk theme so the western part of town can enjoy the same amenities,” found in the rest of the town, says Wil Smith, director of the Estes Park Urban Renewal Authority.

”We’re excited about renewing the West End through design ideas that celebrate the town’s beauty and location,” says Donald H. Brandes Jr., president of Design Studios West, a Denver planning and landscape architecture firm.

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