‘Change is brewing’ in Dillon with urban renewal initiative
Summit Daily News
Pug Ryan’s Brewery owners Travis and Annie Holton stood alongside Dillon council and staff Wednesday to officially break ground on the restaurant’s new expansion, the first project for the Dillon Urban Renewal Authority.
The expansion includes a new deck, larger brewing tanks, new bathrooms and an updated entryway. The restaurant, which is currently set back from the street, will be brought forward to encourage more people to stop in. Stonework will be added to the building and the windows and entryway will be more “engaging.” There will be a front deck for dining, and Pug Ryan’s will be paying for a re-alignment of the sidewalk.
The work is all possible because of DURA, a commission created to improve the town’s center and encourage development.
This is the first action for the group, which is overseen by council members.
“This is our first urban renewal project, and our first project in the town center redevelopment – something we’ve been waiting for years to happen,” Mayor Ron Holland said. “It’s a momentous day.”
The Holtons, seeing an increased demand for Pug Ryan’s beers, approached town authorities late last year about expanding onto the 6,800 square feet of space between Pug Ryan’s and Lake Dillon Drive.
“Pug Ryan’s Morning Wood Wheat and Pali Pilsner, Pug’s canned beers, have continued to gain popularity in the retail market. We could not keep up with the market demand for our craft brews with the limited space in the current building,” Travis Holton said.
The expansion will allow the restaurant to install more than a dozen 45-barrel tanks, which will expand current brewing capacity three-fold. It’s good for the local job market, too: Additional barrels will mean the hiring of more brewers and, eventually, more sales staff.
“The Holton’s wanted to keep the brewery in Dillon and the town wanted the brewery to remain. The only way to make certain that happened was through collaboration,” Holland said.
The land was originally owned by the town, but was handed over to the commission in March before being given to Holton. If the land was sold to Holton by the town, Dillon would have been bound by law to sell it at fair market value, determined by appraisers. The authority, on the other hand, could sell the lot for whatever it wished, depending on how the transaction benefited the commission’s goals.
Holton called the project a learning experience for all involved: the town, DURA, the Dillon Business Association, and Holton’s lender, Alpine Bank and Land Title.
DBA president Bill Falcone said the project is a good start, and hopes it’s a catalyst for future town-center redevelopment.
The project will take about five months to complete. Pug Ryan’s will remain open throughout the construction, which is being performed by local contractors. A sign bearing the phrase “change is brewing in Dillon,” coined by Annie Holton, will be displayed outside throughout the process.
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