“I want to thank Casper for showing up,” Landess said.

After 8 years of service to the community, which included the 2017 Eclipse Festival all the way until the Ian Munsick concert Aug. 20, Operations Manager Jackie Landess is leaving David Street Station with a legacy of making downtown Casper a better place.

Families who frequent David Street Station will no longer be seeing one of the facility’s most recognizable faces and brightest smiles. Landess, who has worked nearly every event, has dedicated her professional life to building memories for Casper families, and after countless nights and weekends spent at David Street Station on top of working regular business hours at the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) office, it’s time to focus on making memories of her own with her husband and twin toddlers.

“Jackie brought events to David Street Station and then ran them so well that it looked easy, but I can tell you it is anything but,” said DDA Executive Director Kevin Hawley. “People don’t realize how much she has done for David Street Station, downtown and the Casper community,” he said.

A Casper native, Landess earned her degree in Recreation, Tourism and Hospitality from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. She returned to her hometown in 2014 after she accepted a position as an Administrative Assistant for the Downtown Development Authority.

At that time, David Street Station was still just a dream that only existed as architectural sketches. Although Landess had a hard time envisioning what this place might look like, she had a clear vision of what David Street Station would feel like. “There had never really been much downtown, and I couldn’t quite wrap my head around this place that would have a splash pad and a stage. But I saw the dream of it all, and I wanted to be part of that,” Landess said.

Synchronously, Landess and David Street Station grew and evolved. During fundraising and planning efforts, she was quickly promoted to Officer Manager, and soon after David Street Station opened, she was promoted again to Operations Manager.

The team’s inexperience may have actually been an asset, Hawley believes, since they didn’t realize how complex many of these events and amenities actually were. Neither Hawley nor Landess or anyone else on their small staff had any idea how to run a skating rink, a splash pad, or construct a giant Christmas tree in the middle of downtown, but they figured it out. “We managed to get things done, but it was only after we failed a few times behind the scenes,” Hawley said, and his Operations Manager was often the person who found a solution.

Creative and dedicated, along with her signature sense of calm, Landess has been responsible for HR, IT, maintenance, marketing, accounting, construction and legal among other duties. She literally wrote the book on David Street Station, creating every policy, procedure, operation manual and communication plan across the organization. Troubleshooting became her specialty, as anytime a problem arose, Landess was on call. The Splash Pad technology was especially troublesome the first few summers of operation, and she was the only person on staff comfortable with the software. It often quit working during peak hours on weekends and evenings, but she would leave her own family to fix it – and always without complaint. “That’s just who Jackie is. She doesn’t need fanfare or accolades. She’s just a hard worker and quietly does whatever it takes to make something work,” Hawley said.

Since her first interview for the Administrative Assistant position in 2014, she was able to see the bigger picture of what David Street Station and downtown Casper had the potential to become. Hawley heaps praise on Landess for being the change that she wanted to see in her community. With countless restaurants, bars and shops, Casper’s downtown has transformed from her childhood, and the area continues to grow and become more desirable, which Hawley credits, in part, to Landess. The repertoire of events she’s been a part of bringing to David Street Station is vast, ranging from big concerts like Ian Munsick to smaller events like Fiesta Wyo or Bubble Fest. But they share some significant commonalities: they bring culture to downtown, and most importantly, they bring families together.

“I want to thank Casper for showing up,” Landess said. “We set out to build this for you and your families, and you responded. It’s all so much better than anything I ever imagined, so thank you, Casper,” she said. But if you ask Hawley, it’s Casper that owes her thanks.

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