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Hometown Pride Tour: Entrepreneurship in downtown WF

Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 5:51 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - While the pandemic caused hardships for many over the last year, it has not stopped the entrepreneurial spirit.

On Wednesday’s Hometown Pride Tour stop in Wichita Falls, Mason Brighton spoke with a few folks who are adding a fresh coat of paint to downtown.

“Something like this, this is for sure the first time we’ve ever turned a bank into a house,” said Cody Melton, owner of The Vault.

Just off the corner of Lamar and 9th Street sits the old Bank of America building. After seeing it lay empty for years, the Meltons decided it could use a facelift.

“Hate to see it just sit here so let’s try and do something with it,” said Melton. “We may not know what yet but we knew we wanted to revive it somehow.”

After buying the property last summer, work is all but finished on one half of the bank turned duplex. Melton says they’re treating it as a short term, multi-month rental for people who may be in Wichita Falls for work.

“We’ve got a pilot who’s moving in in May and maybe somebody from the hospital, a traveling nurse, or doctor,” said Melton.

They’re not the only ones adding something new to downtown.

Progress & Provisions opened up inside the Wichita Falls Brewery and closed their Hamilton Building location. From September to January, to a full remodel for the restaurant, the last year was one hurdle after another.

“From the transition to all to-go, to coming into the summer and seeing a little bit more traffic coming into the restaurants, to now coming into 2021 and we have all the locations open but how do we staff them,” said Kyle Dalka, owner of Progress & Provisions.

Dalka said it was support from their loyal customers and other businesses in town that helped them get through the toughest days.

“I cannot begin to say how awesome it’s been to be downtown,” said Dalka. “I don’t think we would be able to do this at any other part of town and the support from Downtown Development and the chamber, everyone’s made it super easy to do it and the customers have really loved it.”

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