Valdosta hosts downtown development training - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta hosts downtown development training

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March 23, 2006

Valdosta - It's the heart of the city, an area that showcases a town's history, and is always moving forward with new development. To ensure their downtowns stay on that path, these main street directors are gathering in Valdosta for Main Street 101. "Its hands on experience to see what you can take back to your community, what other communities are doing," said Niki Knox, Valdosta Main Street Director.

They're sharing ideas on everything from financial planning to historic preservation, promotional activities and more.  They're learning from the mistakes other towns have made, and taking note of plans that have worked.

Valdosta was picked to host this year's training because of its success in downtown development. "We've got lots of new businesses coming, an antique shop just opened, couple of restaurants coming, a business incubator, a couple of state agencies and an engineering firm," said Knox.

Our downtown is a model for others, and they're hoping the lessons learned during their stay here will turn their towns into models too. "That's information I can take back to my smaller community to ensure that in our future, we're successful as well," said Jenny Robbins, Homerville Better Hometown Director.

Not only are those involved in the training learning about the history of downtown Valdosta and what city leaders are doing to help this area grow, they're also spending their money here.  "I think a group of 32 people went to Lulu's last night, so the economic impact alone is going to be very significant to our downtown," said Knox.

A significant impact that we'll feel again in the fall, when we host another premier event, the Georgia Downtown Conference.

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