Downtown Ellensburg continues to see growth - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Downtown Ellensburg continues to see growth

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ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- In March of 2009 KNDO brought you the story of an investor with a vision for revitalizing downtown Ellensburg, a year later we checked in with the business to see how successful the investment has been.

Bertine's is one of 20 businesses that opened in downtown Ellensburg in 2009, this year four have opened so far. 

"Collectively it's [Bertine's] really helped energize this block and you see a number of businesses along the block that have opened since Bertines's opened or about that same time," said Timothy Bishop, executive director, Downtown Ellensburg Association.

Ellensburg Floral and Gift also moved to downtown Ellensburg in 2009. Owner Dottie Rogers is excited to see fewer empty buildings on her street.

"The more people moving around downtown and coming into the downtown the better for all of us and if I pull in some traveler because I sell a lot of gifts and they happen to go across the street and buy a cup of coffee and have lunch it's better for all of us," said Rogers.

Bishop said Ellensburg has faired better than most communities, enjoying a 15-percent forth quarter increase for 2009 compared to the 2.6-percent increase nationally.  

"We're seeing retailers begin to sort of push hours and extend them a little bit later because there's more foot traffic now in the early evening," said Bishop.

Both Bishop and Rogers agree a community commitment to buying local has helped and that downtown Ellensburg will continue to grow.

"Some of the buildings and the businesses downtown are beautiful and think that it's hidden secret that a lot of people don't know about," said Rogers.