Over the past few decades, historic downtown areas in many cities have struggled, but West Monroe's has thrived. Our downtown area is the pride of the City and the envy of many. Overlooking the Ouachita River, it has a history dating back to the 1820s and has two historic districts – the Cottonport Historic District and the Filhiol Historic District encompassing both commercial and residential areas. The commercial portion of our downtown area has also been designated by the State of Louisiana as a Cultural District.
Even with the growth of suburbanization and big box retail, the commercial and retail space in our downtown are is almost 95% occupied with antique stores, collectible shops, salons, clothing and jewelry stores, art shops, and a bed-and-breakfast. During the holidays, the area comes alive, hosting the Christmas on the River Festival and Christmas light show every year. And, business is booming. Christmas sales at downtown stores and shops in 2012 increased 12.79% from the previous year.
Downtown West Monroe's strength is the spirit of the people who own and operate businesses there. They love the area, take great pride in its success, and work hard to preserve its historic quality.