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Economic Development Magazine Salutes Two Kentucky Downtowns

OWENSBORO, Ky. (June 10, 2015) – Two hundred miles separate Owensboro and Mt. Sterling, but the two Kentucky communities are united in the minds of editors at Southern Business & Development Magazine.

The Ohio River city and the Bluegrass region town fill two spots on the magazine’s list of “10 great Southern downtowns that are worth a visit.” Cities ranged widely in population and included big cities such as Memphis and Ft. Lauderdale along with smaller communities such as Canton, Miss., and Harrisonburg, Va.

“A great downtown is the heartbeat of a city, where residents and visitors come together to experience the art, architecture, food and culture that make (each) community unique,” the editors said.

Owensboro stood out because of its $120 million riverfront redevelopment, its new 92,000-square-foot convention center, two new hotels, the RiverPark Center and the nation’s largest ADA-accessible outdoor playground. The International Bluegrass Music Museum, shops and restaurants also drew attention.

Mt. Sterling, founded in 1792, was praised for its sense of history, along with its restored buildings, churches and homes and a downtown walking tour. Editors also were taken with the Ruth Hunt Candy Factory and its Woodford Reserve bourbon balls.

Southern Business & Development Magazine covers economic development, site selection, business expansion and business relocations across the South, which the magazine labels the nation’s No. 1 region in economic development and the world’s third largest economy.

“Implicit in a feature story of this nature is endorsement of the cities as great places to do business. The vitality of Owensboro makes us a great choice for this list,” said Madison Silvert, president of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corp.

Here’s magazine’s list of downtowns worth visiting (in alphabetical order):

  • Canton, Miss.
  • Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Harrisonburg, Va.
  • Little Rock, Ark.
  • Memphis, Tenn.
  • Montgomery, Ala.
  • Mt. Sterling, Ky.
  • Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Owensboro, Ky.
  • Roanoke, Va.