If you live in the Houghton area, chances are you??ve noticed a few changes downtown recently.
Over the winter, five new businesses have opened their doors offering a variety of services and goods.
Business Development Director, Susie Landers, said there seems to a cultural shift occurring nationwide focusing on downtown revitalization.
??People have realized that downtowns are an important part of the community,?? she said. ??They??re where people gather. They??re where people meet, new ideas come to fruition.??
Bliss Spa, The Keweenaw Sewing Company, Your Crazy Place, 906 Vapor, and The Yummy Bar all utilize formerly vacant storefronts, most of which lie right on the main drag in town.
The owners said the appeal of the lively small-town vibe of Downtown Houghton made choosing a store location a no-brainer.
??Toddlers to the retired, college students, high school kids, elementary school children, there literally is something here for everyone,?? said co-owner of The Yummy Bar, Dana Bianco. ??You could spend a Saturday walking through downtown, and Mom can find something, Dad has something, kids are excited.??
??This is where most of the shops are. There??s a lot of foot traffic compared to other parts of Houghton,?? added 906 Vapor employee, Miranda Aho.
They also said Landers and the city made the process of opening their shops simple.
??If we needed something, it didn??t matter what time of day or evening, she was there. She was right on it,?? said Bianco. ??That part was so easy.??
??The city was really helpful. [We] get a lot of assistance just through different programs that they have for new business owners,?? said Aho.
Landers said there are plans for another handful of new storefronts to open up throughout the year, and there are even vacant storefronts still available for purchase.
She said residents can expect the city to continue progressing as the years go on.
??The more we bring businesses in, the more we??re going to see the impact,?? she said. ??It??s gotten to, now, that people are saying, ??There??s so much downtown. Let??s just go downtown, and we??ll figure out where we??re going to shop, where we??re going to eat.????