BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) – New businesses and the return of large events led to a revitalization of Uptown Beckley.

Mayor Robert Rappold said this this is exactly what the city needs.

“We have worked on things over the years to improve the image of Beckley, to make it more attractive,” said Rappold. “I couldn’t be more tickled about the new Axehole business downtown. I know the proprietor and think the world of him.”

The mayor said there are multiple new businesses looking to make their mark in uptown Beckley. The city is also looking to buy the former location of Zen’s café and turn it into a sandwich shop that doubles as a rehabilitation program.

“Along with a tremendous component to rehabilitate folks, who through often no fault of their own have become addicted to certain products,” said Rappold.

Lisa Strader, director of Visit Southern West Virginia, said area tourism organizations are already seeing a boost in visitors and event planning.

“It’s going to be growing pains as we see this influx of travelers, but that’s a good thing,” Strader said. “I think it’ll give a lot of opportunities for people to start some new small businesses. I think it just sends a good message.”