Christmas has come and gone. Hopefully all of our citizens here in LaGrange and Troup County got a special visit from Santa and received everything they wanted for the holiday. A new year is almost upon us, with 2018 quickly approaching. Many have so much to be thankful for with everything that took place in their lives throughout the calendar year. LaGrange and Troup County as a whole had a lot to celebrate as well, with 2017 marking some significant landmark changes throughout the community, setting up 2018 to be the single biggest year in our history. One of the first areas of tremendous growth was in industry, with a record number of new hotels and factory expansions taking place. The name on everyone’s lips this year was the Great Wolf Lodge, a groundbreaking resort complete with a massive family entertainment center and a state of the art water park. This highly publicized lodge is set to open at the end of May in 2018. In other hotel and lodging news for the year, the new Courtyard by Marriott hotel opened on the downtown square in mid December, replacing the long standing Mansour’s department store building. There are even more hotel options opening up as well, with a new Homes 2 Hilton Suite currently under construction near the new Great Wolf facility.
The business sector that was already established in LaGrange took a continued upswing this year as well. Several businesses that have been set up in our community for many years continued their expansions through ribbon cuttings, new products, and on the large scale, adding more to their already expanding plants. Names such Kimble’s Food by Design and Kleen-Tex had big years, with Kimble’s opening a new store and Kleen-Tex adding a new product line. Interface had a great year as well, recently announcing their plans for the Kyle 2 facility, a new factory building that has some of the most advanced environmentally friendly designs in the entire world.
Retail also had a huge part to play in the LaGrange/ Troup County growth over 2017. On the shopping stretch of Commerce Avenue, the wildly popular Deals 4 Dollars set up shop next to Dollar General. Bargain Hunt also opened up right across the street. The mall was the big story this year as it is currently undergoing growth at an exponential level. Two huge stores were added to the mix. Earlier this year, Dunham’s Sports opened, bringing residents access to sporting goods, shoes, and all sorts of other retail products that they would have had to travel to buy in years prior. January 1st of 2018 will also bring with it the grand opening of the new Hobby Lobby, complete with all of the home décor and design needs that anyone could want.
Restaurants had a stellar year as well here in our community. In the downtown area, an immediate standout was Frios, the locally owned and operated deluxe, gourmet Popsicle place. From the hot summer months even into the cold winter, Frios has been a huge hit with the locals. Over towards Lafayette Parkway and the LaGrange Mall, there were several new restaurants including Firehouse Subs, Johnny’s Pizza, and Marco’s Pizza. In addition, several other local restaurants continued their traditions of serving great food to great people, trends that will continue and grow into next year.
Looking forward into 2018, there are so many developments and rumors swirling around as to what all will be happening for the citizens in LaGrange and Troup County to experience. With two huge openings left to go with Great Wolf Lodge and Hobby Lobby, the economic gain seems to be endless. With the fast pace of growth that we are experiencing, even more businesses will jump into the mix in coming years, propelling LaGrange into an unheard level of expansion like never before. In the next few years, our population is expected to increase dramatically and steps are being taken to set us up to handle this, with housing opportunities and road way projects in the works. When looking forward into 2018, know that you and your family are positioned in one of the fastest growing communities in the state of Georgia and the country as a whole.