Defunct Downtown?

Spring 2004 brought about new economic growth to downtown Valdosta, as nearly a dozen new businesses were planning to set up shop. Months later though, some of those shops have

"We still have storefronts that we're working to fill, but we do have a good variety downtown, and we have people coming downtown for the Christmas season to see it."

Businesses that have fled downtown say parking was their biggest issue, but advocates say there is plenty of parking just one block off the main streets.

"Downtown business leaders say they actually want to see more folks come and fill these empty store fronts because they say bringing in new business would be good for everyone involved."

"More business means more business. More people would have reason to come downtown. I think we're already seeing a lot of people come here just to walk around and see what we do have down here."

So while downtown Valdosta has not been completely transformed in the past few months, leaders say growing downtown business remains top priority.

"It important that downtown be strong and stable and be an integral part of economic development."

If it's not, the remaining downtown businesses will certainly feel the effect.