Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the Louisiana Economic Development grant during an event Friday that celebrated Waitr’s new downtown headquarters.
The City of Lafayette has scored another accolade, thanks to “UL” often associated with its name. ConventionSouth magazine named the city a hip, historic college town in the South.
The meeting industry magazine cited Lafayette, which is home to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, in its “South’s Historic College Towns with Hip Group Appeal” 2014 list. After researching news articles and talking with local tourism bureaus, the magazine editors picked one city in each of 15 states it covers. The list is in the magazine’s latest issue.
“It’s wonderful to see Lafayette continue to be recognized by publications throughout the world. It’s also great to see the University of Louisiana at Lafayette being recognized as well, because the University is such a vital part of our community. There is no doubt Lafayette is a ‘hip college town,’ and we invite everyone to come experience it for themselves,” said Benjamin J. Berthelot, president and CEO of the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission.
Though the magazine has spotlighted college towns before, this is the first year ConventionSouth has selected historic and hip college towns, said Marlane Bundock, editor of the magazine.
“From preserved historic buildings and campus charm to nostalgic experiences and traditions, these college towns have a unique ability to offer groups an enriching opportunity,” Bundock said in a statement.
“Along with their historic ambiance, they provide numerous advantages to groups such as vibrant yet retreat-like settings, walkability and access to hip entertainment, and resources for education, training and charity.”
Other college towns on the list include Tuscaloosa, Ala., home of the University of Alabama, Gainesville, Fla., home of the University of Florida, Oxford, Miss., home of the University of Mississippi, Chapel Hill, N.C., home of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and College Station, Texas, home of Texas A & M University.
In the last few months, Lafayette also was named one of the Top 10 Foodie Cities by Livability.com and, for the second year in a row, Lafayette’s Festival International de Louisiane won Best World Music Festival from About.com. The city recently garnered several top rankings for its economic strength and job growth, including ranked No. 1 overall, No. 1 regionally, and No. 1 within its population category among 380 metropolitan areas in the U.S., according to Area Development.