2011 Great American Main Street Awards®


Congratulations 2011 Winners!

The 2011 GAMSA winnners have an average population of 47,911 and — with an annual average budget of $238,440.40 — have:

  • created nearly 400 new businesses and 1,450 new jobs;
  • rehabbed more than 660 buildings; and 
  • decreased their vacancy rates by an average of 30 percent.

They have also generated an average of $7,890,716.18 in public investment and $25,852,599.70 in private investment. Our five winners have successfully demonstrated their exemplary ability to create and maintain vibrant, successful commercial districts that serve as the heart of their communities.

A national jury composed of former award winners, community development professionals, representatives from government and foundations, and journalists who are active in community economic development and historic preservation selected five deserving winners.

Congratulations to our Winners:

Beloit, Wisconsin


Beloit has an urban edge with the wonderful accessibility of a small town. With a strong history of community involvement and partnership, Beloit continues to benefit from a commitment to passionate, common vision and action designed to celebrate and invigorate the city center. Art! With more than 20 public pieces in and around Beloit’s city center, the influence of a strong arts community shines through. Find out more

Fort Pierce, Florida

Main Street Fort Pierce's revitalization efforts, spearheaded by the rebirth of its Sunrise Theater, have earned the community bragging rights as one of the best towns in Florida, as well as the 2005 City of Excellence Award from the Florida League of Cities. Fort Pierce's recovery and continued success after back-to-back hurricanes shows its strong commitment to community revitalization. Find out More

 Old Town Lansing, Michigan


By the latter part of the 20th century, Old Town Lansing had become a fragmented shell of the bustling area it once was. Buildings were abandoned or burned out. People lost interest in local downtowns across the country, and Old Town was no exception. Fast forward to the 21st century and Old Town Lansing has seen crime rates fall to the lowest in the city, and the building vacancy rate has dropped from 90 percent to less than 10 percent. Using the Main Street Approach, Old Town Lansing has become a thriving community filled with art, festivals, boutiques, and creative business owners and residents dedicated to revitalizating their historic commercial district. Find out more.

Newark, Delaware

Downtown Newark is a colorful, diverse dining and specialty shopping destination on the Delmarva peninsula, but it has not always enjoyed this coveted reputation. In the 1950s, Newark began to grow significantly beyond its center and downtown declined. By the mid-1970s, competitive pressures increased dramatically, causing further decline downtown. Through the efforts of dedicated stakeholders and partners, Newark now has a vibrant, thriving downtown with more than $30 million in private investment and 26 new businesses over the last three-and-a-half years. Newark was recently recognized as SBA's Small Business Community of the Year and named the best city for business start-ups by Business Weekly. Find out more

 Silver City, New Mexico


Silver City is one of New Mexico's five original Main Street towns — and the only one that has operated continuously. Silver City's successes started small and have continued to grow. Their tremendous and consistent success has also had a significant, positive impact on the entire community. Silver City's Main Street success has established the community as a destination for arts and culture-based tourism and artisian-type light manufacturing. Find out more.