Downtown Dillon business fundraiser Saturday

M.P. Regan
Wednesday, June 15, 2022

It’s been a tough couple of years for business owners in downtown Dillon.

The pandemic brought restrictions and fewer customers.

And work on the waterline replacement project that’s dug up many downtown streets continues to prevent vehicle traffic and parking and even discourage foot traffic through key portions of downtown, restricting business on many blocks in the downtown business district.

It’s gotten to the point where one downtown business owner felt compelled to hold a fundraiser for some other downtown business owners.

“The businesses that are completely blocked off from public access due to the construction, this is a fundraiser for them,” said Stageline Pizza Owner Josh Van Dyck of the Block BBQ he is holding on Saturday, June 18, starting at 11 a.m. on the corner of Idaho and Bannack streets.

“All the money I get for it will go straight to those businesses. All the proceeds, everything is going straight to them to help them pay rent or keep their employees, give them a push so they can keep going through this,” said Van Dyck, who will offer a pair of combo options featuring pulled pork, ribs, hamburgers and hot dogs, along with sides and drinks, with “all proceeds to go to small businesses on Idaho Street affected by road construction.”

The recent rains have complicated timelines, but that road construction work could soon wrap up on some downtown blocks, said City Director of Operations Todd Hazelbaker.

“Hopefully, there will be no more rain so we can get in front of City Hall done—hopefully in three or four days,” said Hazelbaker of work going on right outside his offices on a portion of North Idaho Street that has been blocked off for weeks.

“One of the goals right now is to try get Center Street open, as much as they can,” added Hazelbaker of an effort that will depend on specialty work on ADA sidewalk features.

“Once we get those in, it will be a lot easier to open the street.”

In the meantime, Van Dyck will try to get as many people as he can make the trip downtown with Saturday’s event.

“I just sat down with my wife on Friday and said, let’s do something about this. Dillon is growing. I don’t want this road construction work to hinder that. We’ve already had the pandemic,” said Van Dyck.

“I’m not looking to make a dime off this. I am just looking to bring people downtown. It’s the start of summer—let’s kick it off on the right foot.”