GARDEN CITY, Kansas – Lisa Loving opened her bakery, Loving’s Cakes, in downtown Garden City almost a year ago. She’s one of four new businesses to the district in the last year.
“We’ve got all the small communities in the area coming to Garden City, a lot of people come in here, our percentage on new customers is amazing,” she said of her shop.
After ten years of promoting the business district Downtown Vision shared some positive numbers. Over $3 million in private and public money was invested in Downtown Garden city in 2014, total investments over the last ten years were about $12 million.
“So much of it goes to the aesthetics of downtown,” said Nicole Lucas, Executive Director of Downtown Vision. “It’s one of our best recruitment tools, you see people walking up and down the streets and you see the shops open.”
While the numbers show downtown is improving, Lucas said getting entrepreneurs off the ground can be a challenge.
“We have people that come in here with excellent ideas, but the money just isn’t there,” she said.
One of the biggest requests from residents is a nightlife scene on Main Street.
“Nightlife is a huge part of what we need down here and restaurants factor into that,” she said.
A new Italian restaurant is set to open soon, but in the meantime owners like Loving think that the downtown district will hold its own.