By Ken Selvaggi WAVE 3 Vice President and General Manager
The heart of any community is the downtown area. Without a vibrant heart, the rest of your body doesn't function nearly as well. Same with cities. No matter how impressive the suburban sprawl may be, the pulse of a place stems from the roots.
In that regard, Louisville has had an impressive 20 year run. The downtown area welcomed more than 11 million visits last year, up from less than two and a half million 20 years ago. Easy to see why - activity generators downtown nearly tripled, led by Fourth Street Live!, Waterfront Park and KFC Yum! Center – responsible for two-thirds of those visits. In the coming months, besides UofL basketball games, the KFC Yum! Center alone will host concerts from Bruce Springsteen, The Who, and Justin Bieber.
The main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library and Louisville Slugger Field teamed to attract 1.3 million visits this past year.
From the Kentucky International Convention Center, the Louisville Science Center/IMAX Theatre and the Frazier History Museum, to the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Actors Theatre and The Palace Theatre, visitors have plenty of entertainment options.
Not to mention iconic destinations like 21C Museum, the Muhammad Ali Center and the Belle of Louisville.
To complement these venues and the many new restaurants, let's hope the next 20 years bring more shopping options. That will make the downtown revitalization complete.