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Tanglefoot Trail impacts bottom line

Reported by: Susan Parker
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Updated: 3/12/2014 9:19 pm
NEW ALBANY, Miss. (WTVA) -- It's a hard day at work for a construction crew working on a renovation project in downtown New Albany.

They have a deadline to get this building ready for its new occupant.

A coffee shop is the next in line to capitalize on the Tanglefoot Trail.

"Very unique opportunity that not many other places have that possibility," New Albany Alderman At Large Scott Dunnam said.

The 44 mile long trail stretches from downtown New Albany to Houston.

Tourists are already making an impact on the bottom line.

"We see people from Memphis all over that come in for the trail," Trails & Treads employee Phillip Laney said.

Seeing it for the first time is Hattiesburg native Scotty McBeth. He was in town on business, but that came to a halt when he saw the trail.

"I'd heard they were working on this trail. I just didn't realize it was complete, so anxious to get up here and try it out," said McBeth.

He will be following many others according to Tourism and Marketing Director Sean Johnson.

Retail sales for New Albany are above average for the region. They are three and a half percent higher than last year.

Tourism dollars are on the increase. They are six percent higher than last year.

"Seeing a full downtown on the weekend and people happy and spending time with their families here is a great thing," said Johnson.

More opportunities are on the horizon as new projects move forward to accommodate cyclists and others.

"The trail has made an enormous impact and kind of boosted us into revitalization again in our downtown area," said New Albany Main Street Association Manager Vickie Duke.

An art gallery, juice shop and quite possibly a new restaurant are coming soon.

Established restaurants report good attendance and a significant part of that they attribute to their new friends on two wheels.
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