The David Street Station is proof that when Casper “needs something done, it gets it done,” according to Gov. Matt Mead.
The governor spoke these words of praise at the station’s grand opening last summer, but that ceremony only marked the completion of the project’s first phase. A crowd began gathering at the public plaza late Friday afternoon to celebrate a just completed expansion. In addition to an outdoor stage, lawn space and walkways, the facility now includes a splash pad, public restrooms, an observation deck, fire pits and a seasonal ice rink.
“I just hope it’s a place where families can come together and make memories,” said Kevin Hawley, the CEO of the Downtown Development Authority.
Families appeared to be enjoying themselves on Friday, as music blared and food trucks set up shop.
“I think it looks great,” said Harley Knop, as she watched her children play on the lawn. The Casper resident said she expects her family will be back frequently this summer to enjoy the splash pad.
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Those who missed the grand opening will still have plenty of upcoming opportunities to enjoy the facility.
A variety of events, including farmers markets, concerts and family game nights, will be held at the station throughout the summer, according to Brandon Daigle, chairman of the Downtown Development Authority.
City leaders hoped the complex would bring more businesses and foot traffic to the city’s core, and it appears that plan is working. New businesses have popped up in the surrounding blocks including Racca’s Pizzeria Napoletana, Urban Bottle and the Gaslight Social bar.
Matt Galloway, the owner of the Gaslight Social, previously told the Star-Tribune that it played a role in his decision to open an establishment downtown.
“I thought to myself ‘I’m going to be on the outside looking in’ … I wanted to be part of this major [revitalization] movement,” said Galloway, who owns other bars outside the city’s core.
Daigle told the Star-Tribune last month that he considers the project to be a great success.
“It feels like a dream come true … It’s been well worth all of the long nights,” he said.
Katie King covers the city of Casper.