By Ken Ward
Special to the
To say the Auburn-Opelika area is thriving is an understatement; new businesses, housing developments and industrial spaces seem to be opening up everywhere you look these days.
While we might take some of this growth for granted, it has taken decades of steady leadership from elected officials and community groups alike to get us to this place. When Opelika Main Street was founded in 1987, downtown was not the place to go. Empty storefronts, dark streets and few public spaces were the norm. Many would say that the only thing in downtown after 5 p.m. was the train!
Now look at downtown today: two regionally acclaimed breweries, a nationally recognized distillery, multiple award-winning restaurants, a variety of different retail shops, beautiful public parks, landscaped roads and a growing base of loft apartments now call this area home.
Most any city with a Main Street program will say the same thing: Main Street Works! Through our four point approach: design, economic vitality, organization and promotion, we have helped Opelika city and community leaders lead a cohesive (and successful) downtown revitalization effort.
The progress made in downtown has been recognized and emulated by countless communities across the nation, hoping to get the same results Opelika has seen.
We cannot take these accomplishments for granted, given that Opelika Main Street is a nonprofit organization we rely on the support of Opelika businesses, residents, friends and visitors to keep up this progress. Consider becoming a member of Opelika Main Street today and help us ensure downtown stays successful and prosperous for years to come. More information can be found at opelikamainstreet.org or by calling 334-744-0466.
Find more information about Opelika Main Street and downtown by visiting opelikamainstreet.org.