HGTV’s ‘Home Town’ cast to share ideas in Opp

Published 12:35 am Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Group helped revitalize their Mississippi town

HGTV’s “Home Town” cast will head to Opp the first week in April to talk about their time revitalizing their hometown of Laurel, Miss., and Opp Downtown Redevelopment Authority Vice Chair Wendy Johnson hopes that they can learn a thing or two from the cast.

“Amanda Henderson, who is one of the people on our authority, recently went to Laurel,” Johnson said. “She was able to speak with these people just to find out what they had done and how they did it. She found out that they do engagements so they agreed to come to Opp and do a presentation here.”

Johnson said that the cast will talk about how they developed their town and saved it from failing.

“They will pretty much talk about what they did in their community and how they got to where they are now,” Johnson said. “They will talk about how they started by redeveloping their downtown that had died and how they are reviving their town building by building. They will also give tips about how we can do the same thing here.”

Last Monday, the Opp DRA partnered with the Opp Chamber of Commerce to hold their quarterly business meeting and meet with the public to discuss ideas on how to improve their community.

“The support was amazing,” Johnson said. “We had no idea that so many people would come to the meeting. People are really excited and we are really excited to see the amount of people that are willing to help.”

Johnson wanted to bring the people from “Home Town” to Opp to keep the excitement from that meeting going.

“We are very excited to have the visitors from Laurel come and speak,” Johnson said. “We are hoping that we will learn from them and get some ideas from things that they have done. Hopefully they can share their ideas about what they have done and we can take them and implement them in our community. They have had a complete community restoration in their home town just from their efforts, so we are hoping to do that in Opp as well.”

When it comes to downtown redevelopment, Johnson said that it takes a town to save a town.

“Downtown redevelopment is extremely important,” Johnson said. “We want our community to be vibrant and we want to have an exciting community that offers recreation, events and things for the citizens. We feel like this is a step in the right direction and that this will get everybody excited and on board with our efforts.”

Jim and Mallorie Rasberry and Josh Nowell from HGTV’s “Home Town” will be in Opp on April 2, at Westview Baptist Church from 6 p.m., until 8 p.m.

The event is open to the public and is free, but donations will be accepted.