FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Foot traffic has returned to Downtown Fresno in a big way.
The latest research shows Fresno at 115% pre-pandemic activity during the fall of 2022, beating out cities such as San Francisco and St. Louis.
"I think what we're seeing in downtown is a resurgence of people not only coming as a result of the pandemic, but people coming back to downtown in general," says Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer.
According to Mayor Dyer, downtown Fresno has become a desirable area to live in recent years.
"We have about a six-month waiting list of people who want to live downtown, so we know the demand is there," he said.
Diversity and a variety of shops are what attracted Christine Rose to recently open her own yoga studio "Hashtag Balance" along Fulton Street.
The longtime downtown resident says she wants to be a part of the area's growth
"People want to come downtown but don't have things that keep them here regularly," she said. "There are restaurants that people come to, but I want to be a part of that drive. I want to make it a destination regularly."
Rose says downtown events such as Art Hop was a driving force for her to see the potential in downtown as a thriving location for her business.
"Downtown transforms on Art Hop nights -- there are vendors and lots of amazing local artists who showcase their work, music, everything and everyone shows up," she said.
While many downtowns became ghost towns during the pandemic, Mayor Dyer says Fresno's resurgence was no accident.
"Whether it's through our Art Hop, games at Chukchansi Park or the Brewery District, we're very intentional of making sure downtown Fresno is on the minds of people," he said.
Mayor Dyer admits the city still has work to do but is committed to making residents feel safer while visiting downtown, and that includes a stepped-up police presence in the area.
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