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Is the King Edward Jackson’s Alluvian game-changer?

December 18th, 2009

To take a look back at downtown Greenwood 10 to 15 years ago, you would have found a place most Mississippians wouldn’t have traveled to. There were empty store fronts, homeless wandering the streets and a general sense of hopelessness abounded.

Viking helped change all of that by building the Alluvian Hotel. To go along with that was the Viking cooking school and a host of other businesses that attached themselves to a swanky boutique hotel in the middle of the Mississippi Delta.

Today, Greenwood is a destination location for folks across the nation. There are still negative issues in downtown Greenwood, but it seems most people are willing to overlook the negatives based on the positives that have been achieved and what can still be achieved.

Having said all of that, I got a sense of that type of energy last night when my wife and I visited the new King Edward Hotel in downtown Jackson. As most of you know, downtown Jackson has had its own perception problems. Many thought the issues, like Greenwood (empty store fronts, homeless wandering the streets and a general sense of hopelessness), could never be solved.

However, after dinner at the Mayflower, we walked a block down the street to have a drink at the King Edward, which we found packed. There was the sense that this cold, rainy evening in Jackson was a game-changer. There was hope. There was talk of possibilities. There was talk of the realty they were standing in that no one thought possible just a few years ago.

On the ride home, my wife and I talked about the similarities with the Alluvian and Greenwood. Yes, the Alluvian is a different type hotel and yes Greenwood is much different than Jackson. But so much of the situation is the same.

And if the King Edward helps bring as much success to downtown Jackson as the Alluvian did for downtown Greenwood, life could be much different in the Capital City in a short amount of time.

Sure, there are still negative issues in downtown Jackson, but it seems most people are willing to overlook the negatives based on the positives that have been achieved and what can still be achieved.

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