Despite nationwide recession, Louisiana town is thriving

by Brandon Richards bio | email

WELSH, LA (KPLC) - While residents in many American small towns have to deal with unfavorable economic news, the town of Welsh is actually experiencing a mini-economic boom, especially in its downtown area. New businesses continue to move in. New housing units are being built. New projects are being planned.

According to Welsh Mayor Carolyn Louviere, the town is thriving for several reasons: its prime location to Interstate 10, good schools and people.

"For a number of years, many of the buildings were vacant and the town looked almost deserted but right now it's coming back," said Louviere.

And compared to other towns, there are relatively few vacant buildings in downtown Welsh. Recently, the building that housed the town's theatre was renovated into an apartment complex. The Adam's Point Apartments are owned by the Santacoloma family, the same family that owns the Lacassine Sugar Mill. There are nine units in the apartment complex, with one, two and three bedrooms available for rent.

Louviere said new housing additions are being built throughout Welsh.

"We've always called it a bedroom community," said Louviere. "Many people who work in Lake Charles and other towns live here in Welsh."

Louviere said her ultimate goal is to bring a hotel to the town.

Tina Lawrence opened Tina's Café and Gift Shop a few months ago. Lawrence said her business is thriving.

"It's been doing really well, surprisingly for a small town," said Lawrence. "Welsh is known for the businesses we've had in the past. It kind of died out but now it's coming back."

Jimmy Cormier is a Welsh real estate broker, town alderman and former mayor. Cormier says Welsh is a great place to raise a family.

"I think a lot of folks are looking for a good small town atmosphere to raise their family. I think they're looking to slow down a bit, but yet have the modern conveniences," Cormier said.

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