New director of Tryon Downtown Development Association announced

Published 11:49 am Friday, March 1, 2024

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Lourdes Gutierrez to focus on revitalization, building relationships


TRYON—The town of Tryon has hired Lourdes Gutierrez as the new director of the Tryon Downtown Development Association, replacing Michelle Newman who resigned in December after being in the post for just over a year. 

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Gutierrez has been working at the Polk County Recreation Department for two years. She’ll split her time between that job and her new part-time position with the TDDA.

“I love Tryon and I think it’s going to be a good way for me to work on events close to home and to really try to put some feet on the ground in the downtown area,” says Gutierrez, who lives in the Green Creek community.

Gutierrez says one of her primary goals is to take better advantage of Tryon’s membership in the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Main Street program. 

“We’re trying to utilize a lot of the tools that they offer to enhance our downtown area,” she says. “There are a lot of grants available to us for downtown revitalization and improvements.”

Gutierrez also says she’d like to work on getting businesses into downtown’s empty buildings to increase economic activity there. 

“That’s our main focus. Secondary to that is building relationships with the business owners and the property owners to make sure we’re all on the same page, that we all want the same things to help make the downtown area thrive,” says Gutierrez.

The TDDA’s stated mission is to preserve and enhance the community of Tryon through a downtown revitalization program that focuses on economic vitality, excellent urban design and historic preservation.