Editorial: Downtown Development

When thousands of people come to Jubilee CityFest next month, they will be treated to a much more vibrant downtown, thanks to the opening of this Alleyway, reminiscent of parts of New Orleans.

Nearly a thousand more people from the Southeastern Regional Ballet Association will visit Montgomery Mother's Day weekend as this dance festival can now be hosted here because of the new Renaissance Hotel and Performing Arts Center.

The energy in this city at night is noticeable as music can be heard both outdoors and indoors.

More people are now living downtown in the new condo developments. What's missing is shopping.

Convention goers now have more food options. They also want to shop. The Biscuits shop is great. We need more.

Specialty shops are a tough sell anytime, as are retail outlets, and this economy is rough.

But to truly realize the dream of a vibrant downtown, shopping options are needed.

Empty storefronts diminish the excitement happening here.

One third of our downtown guests are business travelers, another third come for conventions and meetings and the rest for leisure activities.

Clearly, well over half the foot traffic here will spend money beyond a bar or restaurant.

It's vital we work towards giving them that option.