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Nungesser: Minden in the HGTV spotlight

by Minden Press-Herald

North Louisiana will get a chance to shine with the upcoming television show Home Town Kickstart, premiering on HGTV on Sunday, April 24. A spin-off of the hugely popular Home Town, the new renovation series features the city of Minden, as well as five other small towns. The show will follow HGTV stars as they complete three renovation projects in each town: the home of a local hero, a small business, and a public space.

A top-10 cable program, Home Town attracted more than 30 million viewers each of the last two seasons. Based on last year’s spin-off called Home Town Takeover, we expect Minden to see a dramatic increase in tourism. Takeover’s featured town—Wetumpka, Alabama—saw a 600% increase in tourism after the show aired. Tens of thousands of fans wanted to see the TV projects in person.

We are ready to welcome visitors to Minden and Webster Parish! With historic brick streets and a thriving downtown district, Minden has the small-town charm and historic character visitors prize. Venturing outside of town, you will find world-class recreation at Lake Bistineau State Park, the Webster Parish Paddle Trail, Kisatchie National Forest’s Caney Lakes, and the Muddy Bottoms ATV Park.

Like Wetumpka, Minden is a designated Main Street community. The Louisiana Main Street program is a proven economic development model for downtown revitalization through public/private partnerships. We have seen real results since 1984—our districts logged nearly $1 billion in investment, 3,500 new businesses, 14,820 new jobs, and 1.1 million volunteer hours.

Minden’s downtown shows why Main Street works. Many of their historic buildings—and those brick streets—have been rehabilitated for commerce and made viable for the future. Minden has logged 111 net new businesses and $19.7 million in rehab projects. Nationwide, Main Street communities have seen a reinvestment ratio of $26:$1.

Our data shows Louisiana visitors want culinary and dining experiences, shopping, and historic sites. Today, economic developers recognize businesses want to locate downtown in order to attract the best talent. People gravitate toward quality of place. You can find all of this on Main Street!

Congratulations to Minden! Home Town Kickstart will show the world what we already know: Louisiana is the best place in the world to Feed Your Soul because when you are here, we treat you like family!

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