People enjoying the sights and sounds of Ya Maka My Weekend
said the district is looking better than ever.
"We've been coming down here for 22 years to Ya Maka My
Weekend and it gets better every year," said festival-goer Al Larson.
The area's been transformed.
That's what business owners in the area agree on.
Dave Phillips, co–owner of Icons Martini Bar, said Rock Island
used to have a rough reputation.
"Great place to come.
Probably got a bad rap in the past," said Phillips.
Charles Knudsen, a cook at Mama Comptons and a local artist,
He said 4 or 5 years ago, there were a lot of empty
storefronts and spaces.
But now, things are on the upswing.
"You're seeing a lot more, many more of the middle
management, young executives moving in down here. You're seeing a lot of condo development a
lot of apartment development; we're getting a brand new bus stop," said
It's not just new places, it's renovations too.
Like the Shoppes on 2nd Avenue, which are giving older
buildings a facelift.
"The biggest thing is the people. It really is.
The people that you meet in downtown Rock Island I mean the whole
spectrum of them are unique and really nice people," said Knudsen.
People like the folks at Ya Maka My Weekend, who come from
all over the Quad Cities, marveling at the positives changes to the district.
"It has transformed itself from just a nightlife, which
is what it used to be, to a more cultural inspiration," said Carl Wilson of
Rock Island is constantly getting updated, at a city council
meeting a month ago, there were more talks about taking steps to keep
revitalizing Rock Island.
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