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Urban Development in Cheyenne, WY

7 Dec

by Phillip Bowling

Updated Dinneen building from the parking lot.

Updated Dinneen building from the parking lot.

Cheyenne Downtown 

Cheyenne became a town in 1867 when the Union Pacific Railroad came through and they only had 600 people living in town. By the end of 1880 they had approached 4,000 people and F.E. Warren Air Force Base came to town, which at that time it was Fort D.A. Russell. Between 1886 and 1890 the Capital Building was built as to what is now the downtown area. While one of the first buildings built in the heart of the central business district was the Plains Hotel in 1911. Since then there has been plenty of buildings built but there hasn’t been much invested in the downtown area to make it a bright spot in the Cheyenne area. From 2007-2013 more than $21 million was invested in the downtown. Since then it has helped improve the selections and the look of downtown since, “Downtowns truly are the heart and soul of the community,” said Mary Randolph, director of Wyoming Main Street.

 CBD is the heart & soul

The central business district is the main focal point of a city as it is the easiest part of the city to reach due to the accessibility. These main focal points consist of three types of services and they are:

Sign for shops in the Dinneen building.

Sign for shops in the Dinneen building.

Business Service

  • Advertising
  • Banking
  • Finance
  • Journalism
  • Law

Consumer Services

  • Office supplies
  • Computers
  • Clothing
  • Shoe repair
  • Rapid photocopying
  • Dry cleaning

Public Services  

Buidlings are ready for rent.

Buidlings are ready for rent.

  • City Hall
  • Courts
  • Libraries
  • Sports Facilities

According to the polls, about 9 percent of Americans prefer to live in the suburbs as to the inner cities. Where, now 50 percent of Americans live in suburbs as only 20 percent in the 1950’s but now the U.S suburbs are more labeled as sprawl due to the rapid growth over the open landscape. As more people are moving into the suburbs, there is a reason to whythere is a need to fix up the downtown area. There are companies such as Catellus, that help with reconstruction on old out dated buildings unless the City and State can do it.

Future, Present, Past changes

I was born and raised in Cheyenne and I have always thought our downtown wasn’t like other downtowns. It’s been in the need of some care in the buildings so downtown can provide the proper services to the people of Cheyenne and tourists. It’s good that in the last couple of years, Cheyenne has slowly been seeing a change and with the new changes to the Dinneen building, it’s going to help create much more traffic downtown and help boost the Cheyenne economy. Here is what some of the current changes are and what is still to come:

Frontside of the Dinneen building from the main street downtown.

Frontside of the Dinneen building from the main street downtown.

Current Changes

  • Rib & Chop House
  • Downtown Parking Lot
  • Renovate a historic building downtown
  • Renovation of the Historic Depot
  • Construction of the Depot Plaza
  • Local events such as
    • Fridays on the Plaza
    • Saturday Farmers Market
    • Pancake breakfast during CFD

      Reconstructed lot across form the Dinneen building.

      Reconstructed lot across form the Dinneen building.

Future Changes  

  • Carey Avenue Extension & Streetscape Enhancements
  • Streetscape Design Handbook
  • I-80 viaduct pedestrian fence approved for safety and to create a welcoming gateway into downtown
  • Dinneen Building with office buildings
  • Hilton Garden Inn
  • More to come

These developments will help get rid of abanded buildings that are no longer safe for the community or for the tourists. This is going to help improve the downtown and now when people visit, they are going to say “WOW.” The next time you go downtown, make sure to take a minute to apprecaite the current improvements of the Central Business District of Cheyenne.

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Party Pony – Where kids go to Party

3 Dec

By Phillip Bowling

 Over 6 years… Too old to party  

First birthday

First birthday

Who doesn’t like to party, especially when you are younger that 7 years old? I know at that age the young ones come with an extra energy pack that parents aren’t equipped with. This time of year the weather becomes much more colder and it makes it challenging to be able to have a party outside to let the little ones run wild and deplete their energy pack. Diane Sloan, grandmother of 5 was “frustrated about the lack of playtime options for kids under the age of 6.” The parks are great when the weather is warm while the bowling alley and municipal pool are great for older kids. There are some less expensive places to take your kids for fun but not for any special events. Diane felt that there needed to be other options for the young ones in her family. This is when she came up with the Party Pony 7 years ago and it’s been a great place as Heather Potter said “I have 3 sons and each one of them have really enjoyed going to the Party Pony to play for a couple of hours while celebrating their birthday. I will continue using the Part Pony to celebrate my kids birthdays.”

 Plenty of activities!

The Party Pony has a great selection of activities for kids under the age of seven years and they are:

Outside Jungle Gym

Outside Jungle Gym

  • Carousel
  • Jumping Castle
  • Climbing Mountain
  • Alligator Ball Toss
  • Swinging Noodle
  • Outdoor Playground Structure
  • Climbing Animals
  • Dual Tire Horse Swings
  • Giant Ball
  • Clown Bubble Machine
  • Carnival Mirror
  • Vending Cart –  Hot Dogs, Snow Cones & Popcorn – Extra Cost

Coming Soon

  • Squirt Park
  • Maze

 Details, Capacity & Price

Just like any other place to hold a birthday party or any other event there is a fee for admissions. At the Party Pony you get to have the option of how long you want to be there.

Inside the Party Pony

Inside the Party Pony

Pricing

  • I hour:          $100.00
  • 1.5 hours:    $150.00
  • 2 hours:       $200.00
  • 3 hours:       $270.00

Capacity

  • Winter – 60 People
  • Summer – Unlimited

Details

  • Hours – There are no hours, only when we party
  • Reservations – Suggested 30 days in advance as bookings fill up fast
  • Includes – Each party gets balloons and a special gift for the birthday child
  • Food & beverages – You are welcome to bring your choice of food, cake and ice cream
  • Additional information

The video below will give you a better look at the Party Pony and how big it is. The next time you are trying to think of a great place to book a birthday party for your young ones, think Party Pony!

Ceramic Legacy

26 Nov

By Phillip Bowling

These Loons were done with chalk instead of paint.

These Loons were done with chalk instead of paint.

Start with mud… End with a Ceramic

One of the best things a kid has is their imagination and being able to see things adults can’t. Creativity is something that develops when we are young while some of us keep it others end up losing their creative minds as they age. My Grandpa is an exception, he became more creative the older he got.  He started making ceramics about 35 years ago in his late 40’s. Ever since I was a kid, my Grandpa has made these amazing ceramics and given them to me and many others as gifts.The first one I got was a little brown bunny, but since have gotten some amazing Eagles.

These are my favorite ceramics and he used chalk on these instead of paint.

These are my favorite ceramics and he used chalk on these instead of paint.

There are a couple of ways to start making ceramics because anyone can get into making ceramics to give as a gift to friends and family.

How to start…

As you can see in this video, my Grandpa has a lot of equipment to create his ceramics. He didn’t start off with all of that equipment. It is easier to get involved into this hobby.  Here is a couple simple ways to start creating ceramics:

  1. Taking a college class
  2. Buy unfinished ceramics & paint them
  3. Buy the molds and pour the ceramics
  4. Start with the basics of clay

These are some of the basics  you can start off with to get involve in  creating ceramics. and then work your way on getting more equipment. My Grandpa said “I started at a ceramic shop here in town. I would go down there, buy the greenware (non-fired clay) go home and use my tools to clean it up; then take it back down to the store. I would have them fire the greenware. Then I would bring it home to paint them or use chalk. I did this until I could buy my own kiln (which fires the green ware).”  There are other ways of getting into painting ceramics.

The video below shows what the greenware looks like to what the finishing product is while, my Grandpa explains his process of ceramics.

Endless Gifts…

The best part about my Grandpa doing ceramics is he always has the best presents to give to us for Christmas or birthdays. Some people might ask why ceramics can be a great gift to get for the holidays or birthdays. There are multiple reasons why they make such great gifts. One reason is because he has a variety and does such a detailed job painting them. Most people like to decorate for the holidays and there’s nothing better than putting a ceramic made by a family member or a  great friend out to display for the season. My Grandpa has an amazing selection of ceramics and molds, these are a few:

  • Christmas statues such as Santa’s, reindeers, Tiny Tim, snowmen lighted Christmas trees, and over 100 nativity sets
  • Easter – Bunnies, chicks, geese and Easter eggs.
  • Halloween – Witches on pumpkins, pumpkins, ghosts and many more.
  • Wild life – Horses, Bald eagles, bears, deer, elk, loons and many more.
  • Dogs, cats, buffalos,

My Grandpa has been very dedicated to his local church; The First Presbyterian. While going there he used his ceramics to show his thanks to a lot of the people. Within the last 15 years my Grandpa switched to using layers of chalk instead of paint. This has enabled him to bring out the detail and colors in his ceramics. My favorite ones that I cherish, are his Bald eagles.

Health Expansion

11 Nov

By Phillip Bowling

Phillip Bowling

Writer

Help the community…

As time goes by, businesses or buildings become outdated and people wonder when that old building is going to hurt the community. There are multiple buildings and businesses that end up out of date and downtown has been doing a great job with making the correct changes to better the community. When companies choose to not update their building or stores, it hurts the community and forces people to go to the newer, better areas.

YMCA is a good example of how that has happened to them and they are no longer the happening place to go to for fitness. YMCA has been around for a long time and they haven’t taken the time to update the building, equipment or the atmosphere to draw in more people. While that is happening, new gyms are forced to come in to town to present themselves as new and that is when Smart Sports and Fitness One came to town to help improve the community.

More gyms…

Yup that’s right, there is more gyms being built in Cheyenne and people enjoy having that option. As fitness and health are becoming more important to people, there is a need for additional gyms in various locations to make it more convenient to access. Now we have up to 6 weight lifting gyms that are accessible in Cheyenne.

Let’s go new and bigger…

Fitness one came into Cheyenne on the northwestern area of town back in the early 2000’s and then around 8 years ago they decided to add another location in Cheyenne on the southeastern side of town. Now they have taken the opportunity to expand their gym on the southeastern area of town. Their current location has a lot of room for a various amount of activities to help people maintain a healthy life style such as:

  • Aerobic room for Insanity, cycling,
  • Dark room for doing cardio while watching movies
  • Cardio area
  • Free weights
  • Machines
  • Sauna
  • Aqua Massage
  • Tanning

–          Rock Wall

While they have a great selection to choose from, they still want to give more options to their customer’s. Emily the gym manager said “customers keep asking for more and we are listening to them by expanding the gym with”:

  • More room for the free weights
  • Extra set of dumbbells
  • Full functional cross training room
  • Punching bags
  • New Spinning room
  • New power racks
  • 2 full circuit rooms
  • New locker rooms
  • Sauna’s in each locker room
  • 24 hour towel service
  • Extending the parking lot

Emily says “We are planning on completing the gym in the next couple of months as long as we don’t run into any complications.” I think it is going to be good for our community to have a couple of really nice gyms for people to choose from instead of having a monopoly with only one nice gym. Make sure that we continue to keep shopping within the local places so we can give back to the community to improve our town.

It’s all about the show

25 Oct

 

Transformation…Jay & Phil

What is transformation, some might think of transformers or some might think of going from high school to college. There is a large group of people that will be at the Phil Health Classic tomorrow in Cheyenne that would beg to differ. This amazing group of athlete’s sees transformation in their body and figure as they will be stepping on stage to have 5 different judges determine who has the overall best physique.

The show must go on…

Tomorrow is going to be a lot of ripped, tanned and muscular group of people at the Cheyenne Civic Center. Tomorrow’s show will be the 3rd bodybuilding show in Wyoming for over 10 years. Last year they started off with the Jay Cutler Classic and that was the only show they had last year in Wyoming. This year it was their second year of their 3 year contract at the Cheyenne Civic Center. This year it’s Phil Health’s first year for his show and Phil Health is a 4 time and current 2014 Mr. Olympia. The show will have multiple age groups for men and women in multiple classes. Women get to compete in four different categories with bikini, figure, physique and bodybuilding. Guys have two categories with physique and the main attraction of the show, bodybuilding.

How to get into a show…

I myself have been in two shows and I am now hooked on them but before my first show, it took me 6 years before I stepped on stage. Most people don’t know how to get into this type of show or what it takes to prepare you for a show. Your prep will be the types of lifts you do, your wokout plan, amount of cardio and meals. I asked my current coach Kelly Parks how he learned what it takes to get into a show and he said “Back in my day there wasn’t the internet and only option I had was to read books. I went to the bookstore and read more books like the encyclopedia book of bodybuilding by Arnold.” Now these days we have the internet to learn how to get involved into these shows.

Ways to learn more about these shows

My buddy & Phil Heath at the 1st Jay Cutler show in Cheyenne

My buddy & Phil Heath at the 1st Jay Cutler show in Cheyenne

– Attend a show in person. NPC News Online is a great site to find local shows

– Local gyms: Fitness One, Smart Sports or Gold’s Gym

– Nutrition stores: The Nutrition Company, Complete Nutrition or GNC

Phil Heath Show

Where – Cheyenne Civic Center

What Time – Pre-judge 11 am – Evening Show 6:00 pm

How much – Pre-judge $26 – Evening Show $45

Guest poser – Phil Health Himself

Weightlifting, Running and CrossFit……

11 Oct

There is a constant debate on which type of workout is better and which one is worse. There is always going to be this debate until the end of time. The good thing about these workouts is that everyone is staying active and trying to better their health on a daily basis to live longer. With doing all three of these different activities, the one thing they have in common and that is making it a lifestyle. Below is my friend Marcus and my first physique show and I got to meet 4 time Olympia Jay Cutler.

First Physique show

Weightlifting, Suns out, Guns out…

Weightlifting is more based on the taking weight and moving it in a direction that creates resistant to help build muscle and make the body stronger. This goes back to the late 1800’s and it has been creating more interest ever since. Weightlifting is the basis of exercising to help people excel in their field of sports or active lifestyle.

I have seen it make a difference in people’s life after a major injury. One of my friends Gina has been lifting weights her whole life and made it a lifestyle and over a year ago she had a knee injury so bad that she was told she is going to need a full knee replacement. This year as Gina is 51 years old and with a full knee replacement on Feb. 21st, she was able walk her son down the aisle for his wedding on March 29th. Gina said “At 3 weeks, I was doing physical therapy that is usually not done until after 6 weeks. When I went to the doctor after 2 weeks from surgery, the doctor’s partner said if your records and a fresh scar didn’t say you were only a couple of weeks out of surgery I’d guess you were about 3 months out.” After seeing Gina off pain pills and back at the gym in 2 weeks and seeing her drive, hard work and determination, she has inspired me and made me a firm believer that lifting weights makes the body happier. See he pictures in the slide show and my buddy’s transformation with him doing bodybuilding.

Weightlifting has become much more competitive as there is bodybuilding and power lifting shows. The bodybuilding shows have it for all ages and for both genders. They have just recently started putting bodybuilding shows in Cheyenne as they have the Jay Cutler Classic show in August and the upcoming Phil Heath show on Oct, 25th at the Civic Center and you can find more out on NPC website.

Running, I think I can, I think I can…

Cardiovascular has always been the best way to exercise the most important part of the muscle, the heart.

My uncle has been into running for years and he made it a lifestyle by running with his dog on a daily basis and that has helped strengthen his heart. As my uncle is 63 years old, he said “that if it wasn’t for his consistent running he would have had a couple of heart attacks by now,” as his father passed away at the age of 55 from a heart attack. It shows that running has one of the biggest advantages to it. One of my friends Becky has been running for about 10 years and competitive for 3 years and the reason she chooses running is “because I can do it anywhere, Indoor, outdoor, or any weather. The competitive races make it more challenging as I can meet my goals.”

Running has been an active sport in Cheyenne as they have a couple of runs a year to bring a large group of people together and they make it as relaxing or as competitive as you want it to be. In the competitive runs, you can run them by yourself, in groups or with your daughter like my friend Becky did as you can see in the slide show. There is roughly around 10 to 12 races in Cheyenne and a couple in Laramie and you can find more about these events at Active site.

 CrossFit, test your toughness…

Maybe you don’t prefer to focus towards a specific area and you would like to have a blend of overall strength and fitness.  CrossFit is going to give you the versatility of running, jumping, moving weight in an Olympic lift or even doing weightlifting at a faster pace and working on hitting your goal of speed and max weight. I have a friend Kristen that is really into CrossFit and I asked her why she enjoys CrossFit and she said “the workouts are always testing my strength, endurance and physical capability, they are always unpredictable. I crave the intensity and the trainer by my side pushing me when I don’t think I can do another pull up or squat clean and he/she knows better and gets me there. I love the variety of workouts and never knowing what we are walking into the next day.”

As Kristen has stated, it is a different workout everyday and you never know what you are going to get the next day and that is why people choose CrossFit. With it being so versatile with all the exercises, they work on all aspects of the workouts and that it what makes it so addicting. They have some competitions in Cheyenne and they are having one in Casper next weekend called the 307 Throwdown. To find out more of the competitions, visit the Crossfit website.

Click on the link to see the slide show that shows Kristen doing multiple different exercises, Becky doing a local run with her daughter, Garrett with his transformation and Gina with her knee surgery and great physique.

Which Gym is better?

26 Sep

Grab your protein shake, grab your pre workout and let’s get fit. Everyone that workouts has their own ritual that they do to get ready for their trip to the gym. There are so many gyms out there and how do you know which one is better?

Fitness One w/Miss Cheyenne

Fitness One w/Miss Cheyenne

Types of local gyms:

Phillip Bowling

Writer

Cost of gyms?

  • Daily fees – Most daily fees are around $10 a day
  • Monthly fees – The average is around $30 and you have to pay monthly to have 24 hour access
  • Yearly – Some gyms will give you a discount when you pay up front for a year
  • Enrollment fees – Gyms can have an enrollment fee to get your membership started

Preferences?

When it comes to which gym is the best, it’s more of what are you looking for? Is summertime coming around and it’s time to get those abs out in the sun or is it winter time and the famous bulking season is around the corner. Is it time to get in shape for a sports team or to be health conscious and live a healthier life. Some people feel that each gym is always better than another gym and the type of workout you get in the gym. People perceive each gym differently from Fitness One being the gym more focused on cardio and less on the weight lifting. While Gold’s Gym and Smart Sports is more of the meat heads and the die-hard bodybuilder that lift there and it intiminates new members. Crossfit gyms are seen as being too intense and designed for speed and strength. These are some of the most common perceptions of these gyms, when all of them can help each person based on what their goal is. While each gym is different, the main thing to remember is that it is each person’s personal preference on why to choose a gym. Feel free to look at the great article bodybuilding has on how to pick the right gym.