Posted September 30th, 2013 in Blog by Rick Hill

granary-row-salt-lake-city-2-537x405How colorless urban districts are being revived by imaginative citizens.


I spend a lot of time looking at the underbelly and backside of cities instead of the preferred Chamber of Commerce photo ops. I find the more humble districts of a city, the ones somewhat frozen in time to be far more interesting.


These districts are often located between the showcase blocks of a downtown and the first ring of gentrified neighborhoods. Characterized by acres of underutilized parcels and aging and often functionally obsolete buildings, the “in-between zones” are the most intriguing. Even in their tattered state, the remnant zones of previous industrial, manufacturing, and segregation economies offer hope, promise and the greatest potential for economic development.


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Posted September 13th, 2013 in Bardstown by Rick Hill


I recently hosted eight young couples who were visiting Bardstown from various places around the country.  They were employed in the financial, fashion, medical, legal, internet, and retail industries.  The average household income of the group was significant but not unlike many similar gatherings that occur throughout the town on a regular basis.


Over dinner the conversation turned to the upcoming bourbon festival, held annually in Bardstown each September attracting upwards of 50,000 people.   Interest was expressed in returning to Bardstown with friends, co-workers, and clients during the Bourbon Festival in subsequent years.  But, the prevailing question was: “where would we stay?” This was particularly relevant since this group had experienced their own problems finding acceptable accommodations in town.  Some settled for the last couple of rooms in a quality-for-the-money 3 star national chain, one roughed it in a B & B, and others ended-up on air mattresses on floors and flopping on the living room sofa rather than subjecting themselves to the remaining alternatives of “outdated, musty, worn-out, and transient shelters.” Continue Reading »