The transformation of the historic Haralson building into The Lofts on Gault, along with other projects taking place downtown, is part of a collaborative effort by many people to improve the economy in Fort Payne and DeKalb County, Alabama. Tourism is one of the top industries in this region, bringing in outside dollars that rotate through the local economy several times to help local businesses pay employees, buy supplies and provide services.

The Little River Canyon area alone is the second-most visited destination in Alabama, just behind the beaches of Gulf Shores. When a traveler stays at The Lofts, just like when they stay at a hotel near the interstate or a cabin on Lookout Mountain, they spend money at our local restaurants and stores. Besides supporting local businesses where our people work, this generates lodging taxes and sales taxes that help our city and county governments pave roads and provide important public services such as law enforcement, parks, and libraries.

The Lofts are part of a community effort that’s been going on for years to bring more people into downtown Fort Payne, and it’s exciting to see locals and visitors alike bringing more life to this historic downtown.

Besides overnight accommodations, The Lofts will offer event space that will be especially attractive to groups and local industries needing a space to host meetings — thus bringing more people downtown. The City of Fort Payne, the Lookout Mountain Alabama tourism association, the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce, and the Fort Payne-Main Street Alabama group all agree that downtown revitalization is a key component to economic development. You see it in small towns like ours all across America, where citizens are working together to create something positive for themselves, their communities, and their families.

Keep an eye out for other exciting announcements this year from businesses in downtown Fort Payne. Great things are happening that will benefit everyone. It’s going to be a great 2022 in our city!