770.333.6343 kate@katemcenroe.com

Can you find the funny in economic development?  Some of you know my husband Ed Riggins, and Ed is always in search of the funny, and I’m always in search of interesting and unique economic development stories.  Jamestown checked the boxes for both of us.

We were on a meandering road trip generally to and from Maine from Chicago, and when I asked him to check his bucket list, he was reminded that he wanted to see the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York, which was almost right on our way home, so we made a stop.

The Comedy Center itself is an amazing place.  In addition to the comedy history, it employs creative technology to enhance the visit and make it appealing to all ages.  Just down the street is the Lucille Ball Museum, a more traditional, memorabilia-based place centered around this native daughter – so the comedy history makes sense.

What also makes sense is how the location of the Comedy Center, right downtown along the waterfront, is helping to spur a reinvention of one of the area’s key assets.  That waterfront was a linchpin of the area’s traditional strength in furniture manufacturing in years past and is now getting a lot of attention as another magnet for the area’s destination tourism strategy.

The Comedy Center isn’t the only good news in Jamestown’s economic story, but it has arguably spurred tourism and encouraged new hospitality related businesses.  More broadly, the area has received a tremendous amount of unpaid publicity that has raised visibility and, I suspect, given a little boost of community pride as well.

To read more about the center and how it was funded, take a look here:  https://www.eda.gov/success-stories/infrastructure/stories/jamestown-ny.htm

If you want to know about how the waterfront redevelopment is going, this article will bring you up to speed:  https://www.post-journal.com/news/page-one/2021/10/open-water/

And if you want to see what a ton of unpaid publicity can look like, as well as learn more about the Comedy Center and maybe plan a bucket list trip of your own, this is where you will find it:  https://comedycenter.org/news/#