OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE)-
The City of Owensboro is celebrating a successful year and looking forward to more progress in the new year.
Owensboro has definitely had one of its best years ever, and some residents 14 News talked with today feel that the completion and reopening of Smothers Park in August was the shining moment of 2012 for the city and the people who call it home.
"I have been looking forward to this for two or three years because it has been in the works for quite some time, and we're just very fortunate to have this wonderful development," Donna Abell said.
Like others who visit every day, Donna Abell and Carolyn Wimsatt feel that Smothers Park spells success for Owensboro.
"For us, we come down here a lot during the day, and we can hang out, walk around, get a little exercise, and then we go over and have lunch," Wimsatt said.
"Every time I come down here, it's just full of folks, children and families and even businesses," Abell said.
Those business leaders recognize what a big year it's been for the city.
"2012 was unprecedented, particularly in terms of downtown growth in Owensboro," said Joe Berry with Owensboro's Economic Development.
Some of that includes construction on new buildings or redeveloping old buildings that will be used for things like retail and living opportunities. Economic leaders say that's key.
"From what we've seen across the board is demand for this kind of living is high, and it's not just, that is not just specific to Owensboro. That is in a lot of communities," Berry said.
As a new year quickly approaches, the city is preparing for the completion of the hotel and convention center, along with other projects.
"The key word for 2013, I think, is momentum. Momentum and full circle," Berry said.
"Hopefully, you know, there will be some great new acts come into the hotel. Just new industry all around, just brighter things on the horizon for Owensboro," Wimsatt said.
When 14 News asked Abell how she thought the new year would look compared with the one we're about to wrap up, she said she's almost certain that it will be even bigger and better, so we'll have to watch her prediction.
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