ATHENS AT A GLANCE
Population: Metropolitan area: 135,000; University enrollment: 29,000.
Demographics: Metro area has large youth contingent: 14 percent of total population is between the ages of 20 and 24.
Downtown Renaissance: $120 million renovation over the past 15 years has resulted in sales growth in areas including: business services, 102 percent; eating establishments, 209 percent; hotels/motels, 102 percent; personal and miscellaneous services, 137 percent and 219 percent, respectively.
Growth Opportunities: Room for growth in entertainment-oriented retail, industrial recruitment, music industry, bio-technical fields.
Figures from Athens Downtown Development Association and Economic Forecasting Center, University of Georgia.