Rome has received enviable recognition as a desirable place to live, work and play. Our city made a short list of nine “Live, Work, Play Cities” selected by Georgia Trend magazine and the Georgia Municipal Association.
For these cities, Georgia Trend said, “the sum is a more livable environment.” The selected cities are “well managed, sure, but it’s that extra spark that makes them shine.” These cities “have capitalized on the far-sighted vision of their leadership to thrive under the ‘Live, Work, Play’ banner.” Their initiatives “have resulted in increased civic involvement and improved quality of life for area residents and that special something that draws visitors as well.”
Rome won the recognition for large cities (more than 25,000 population) as did Roswell and Statesboro. In the mid-size category, Dublin, Griffin and Woodstock were selected; and the small-city selections were Grayson, West Point and Madison.
The description of our city is well worth quoting:
“Rome, with its Between the Rivers Historic District, where the Etowah and Oostanaula rivers join to become the Coosa, boasts quaint shops, boutiques and restaurants — and the largest intact Victorian district in the state.” City Manager Sammy Rich accurately defined it as “authentic downtown character and charm and sense of place.” Another plus — an “extra spark” — is the $2-million project to expand the 13-mile trail system converging at Town Green Park downtown, ultimately linking with the highly popular 61-mile Silver Comet Trail with plans to extend it all the way to Chattanooga.
Rome is credited for enhancement of its recreational offerings, having “recently seen a boon in water sports such as canoeing and kayaking,” providing “a successful economic engine.” Proof in the pudding: “The Downtown Tennis Center, a 16-court satellite facility of the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College, currently has 34 tournaments booked.”
And the Trend rightly points out that Rome “is committed to promoting sports tourism, manufacturing and education as keys to its vibrancy.” Manager Rich explained that Rome’s rivers — with their system of levees — have transitioned from being “a place for the sewers” into a rediscovery of assets boasting an elaborate levee system and surrounding trails — “and now that we are taking advantage of them we’ve seen a miraculous turnaround.”
Also cited is the city’s recent initiative to renovate dilapidated structures and redevelop riverfront property on West Third Street for more user-friendly and pedestrian space.
It’s music to the ears of the citizens of Rome who believe in this city and its future. Thanks, Georgia Trend and Georgia Municipal Association, for confirming that Rome is, indeed, a great place to live, work and play.