CALDWELL — Indian Creek Plaza in Caldwell is now one year old, and the mayor says the popular area has created an economic boom since its debut.
It's hard to even remember Downtown Caldwell without Indian Creek Plaza, now that it's here, and the mayor and local businesses don't want to remember it; not with all the new businesses downtown and the steep increase in tourism and sales.
"In the winter months, we have actually tracked the number of people coming across the bridge right back here at 7th street. From November to about the middle of January in 2017, we had about 140,000 crossings," said Mayor of Caldwell, Garret Nancolas.
Fast forward one year, Downtown Caldwell gets a makeover, Indian Creek Plaza arrives, and with it an ice skating rink, a movie theater, and several new businesses around town.
"We had over 400,000 crossings of people across that bridge during that same period of time," said Nancolas.
And while nearly a dozen new businesses have opened or are getting close to opening, you've got to give credit where credit is due. Nancolas said, "Those existing businesses that have stayed there through all this development and construction. Those businesses are bringing people back down town."
Sticking around through construction and through the days when continuing business may have come into question, all proved worth it for Indian Creek Steakhouse following the downtown revitalization.
"I remember when I opened here, we used to park out front so it would look like we was busy, and now we've got a parking problem," said Dillon Wickel, Owner of Indian Creek Steakhouse.
Indian Creek Steakhouse is just coming up on their 8 year anniversary, and Dillon credits a big jump in sales to the opening of Indian Creek Plaza.
"I'd say we've probably doubled in business. Our numbers have jumped dramatically. When they have the farmers market on Tuesday's, I mean, it's like a weekend night," said Wickel.
All of that is really bringing Caldwell back to life, which is just what Mayor Nancolas and the rest of Downtown Caldwell hoped for when Indian Creek opened.
"When I was a kid, downtown was the gathering place, and over a period of years things changed, so we have tried to recreate that vibrant downtown where people will come and spend an afternoon, and it's working," said Nancolas.
That's not it for Indian Creek either, a handful of businesses are still in the works, including a mexican restaurant, a sushi bar, and an axe throwing room, all with plans to open this summer. And a boutique hotel is on its way.