CLEVELAND, OHIO - One year ago, there was a completely different downtown vibe in Cleveland.
Public Square construction dominated the first part of summer 2016 and the Republican National Convention followed with multiple streets blocked off and limited access to the area.
Overall, the events were good for city exposure, but not so good for experiencing the true downtown.
“If you would have come to Cleveland 10 years ago, it wouldn’t have been what you see now," Amy Little, frequent visitor, said.
Now, though, you might think the city hit the fast forward button.
Emily Lauer, senior director for public relations at Destination Cleveland, said the city is bouncing back from years of stagnation.
“Just as we have been for the past few years, the trend continues to be in the upward swing," Lauer said.
Visitors, like Little, traveled from out of state to see U2 on Saturday night and she said she plans to continue to make her way out. That's the new vibe.
"We love it," Laura Fenton, out of state visitor, said. "It’s a lot of fun, there’s a lot of different things to do.”
"All summer long, we have the Indians playing at Progressive Field and lots of smaller events taking place," Lauer said. "But when you can bring in New Kids on the Block and U2 on the weekend and in a couple of weekends we have Luke Bryan and Billy Joel coming in, it really just amps up the excitement."
First Energy seats 70,000 people; Progressive Field holds 35,000 and the Q Arena fits in another 20,000, all crowds we can expect to see within days of each other this summer.
On July 14, Billy Joel takes over Progressive and Luke Bryan follows on July 15. Also, on July 15, the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup comes to First Energy and the Alternative Press Music Awards will be at the Q Arena on July 17.
"When you’re bringing people in at that volume it really gives local restaurants and all restaurants the opportunity to fill their seats, turn more tables in a day, bring in more income that if it’s locally owned stays here in Cleveland," Lauer said.
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