PROVO — Provo markets its downtown as a historic place.
But many longtime businesses have become history in recent years and city leaders are working to create new opportunities in downtown Provo.
A new model of 23 blocks of downtown Provo unveiled on Thursday, is helping to show the potential the city has.
"We want to get more businesses into vacant, tired old buildings downtown and see them revitalized." says Paul Glauser, Provo city redevelopment director. He adds the city wants to "keep that historic core of the downtown on Center Street, which is quite unique with downtowns in the state and gives the downtown the charm that makes it a good place to be."
The model was created by Rick Kinateder, who made an in-kind donation of $10,000 to the Provo Downtown Center Focus project.
"We've worked on this actually about six months, until last week, last couple of days actually," Kinateder said.
The model details buildings, streets, trees and even the parking spaces available downtown.
"You can see the tree-lined areas. We think there is a great opportunity for marketing and new businesses that can come in downtown and we hope that helps in the marketing of that," he said.
Provo is hopeful that the Utah County Convention Center, now under construction, will attract new conventions to the city, especially larger ones the city hasn't had room to host in the past.
NuSkin plans to develop 100 West, in a major expansion, which will bring more workers to the heart of the city.
Glauser calls Provo a great place to invest right now.
"I think now that we have the model in place, everybody is coming up with new ideas on how we are going to use this model, to promote the downtown and help people catch the vision of what's possible here," he said.
The model is on display inside the lobby of the Provo City Center for the next few months.