Valley Economy Shows Signs of Growth

May 30, 2008 8:27:18 PM PDT
Soaring gas prices and a sagging housing market are weighing down the Valley's economy. But there are bright spots. Fresno's appetite for an upscale dining experience remains strong and another well known restaurant chain is about to join the battle for people's fine dining dollars.In the midst of tough economic times when every dollar counts Valley residents continue to eat out dining at upscale restaurants.

"We still do it (eat out). We don't have kids though so we're able to do that," said Leah Prosperi. Jim Finks said: "You got to. If you're not spending it on gas spend it on food."

In the last few years, high end franchise restaurants like Flemings, Cheesecake Factory and P. F. Changs have moved into Fresno. And business for them is booming.

"We've been sort of a meat and potatoes kind of place," said Al Smith.

Al Smith with the Chamber of Commerce said the number of upscale chains developing in the Valley is an indicator that local businesses are doing well and Fresno's become a premier destination for out-of-town meetings.

"We have diversified the business community so you're seeing more and more of those kinds of businesses coming in that can wine and dine those clients and that supports those high end restaurants," said Smith.

And in two months the newest upscale national chain restaurant to open its doors in the Valley will be Ruth's Chris Steak House. They're known for their relaxed atmosphere and fine cuts of beef.

A representative with Ruth's Chris told Action News the company does offer deals to encourage people with a taste for fine food but on a tight budget to dine. Smith believes restaurants like these are a sign the Valley's economy is turning around for the better.

"So I think it's a great tribute to the city and they're telling us things that we need to know which is, 'Things are going good here.' And we're in an economic slump at the moment but people are planning for the long term," said Smith.


Load Comments