Kettle Falls calls on expert to re-energize downtown

KATIE LEITHEAD | Statesman-Examiner
S-E Staff Reporter

Ron Drake famous for 'flipping' historic districts

Kettle Falls residents hired renown consultant Ron Drake to essentially “flip” their town and help them start planning for the future.

Drake has sold over 45 homes, specializing in historic neighborhoods, and is credited in helping turn the downtown of Siloam Springs, Arkansas into a vibrant cultural center. Drake promotes small towns in America, believing that with property values, morale and community spirit a town's value can be turned low to high. In order to bring Drake to Kettle Falls, the school district, city officials and businesses pooled the money together.

Having spent three days touring the city and meeting the locals, Drake said Kettle Falls had some simple solutions to its problems, but it would still require a lot of work to accomplish it.

“It's hard for small towns to think progressively,” Drake said, noting some of the outdated signs and lack of promotion along US-395. He pointed out that while most business owners in Kettle Falls want to see more people stopping in, they've done nothing to make that happen.

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