Wheeling, W Va. (WTRF) - For many years, Downtown Wheeling has been defined by "the old Downtown."
You walk into businesses and see pictures from the past.
But that's all changing thanks to the grand opening of The Health Plan.
Mayor Glenn Elliott said he's already seeing a difference.
"I'm talking to a lot of folks who are looking to open restaurants, bars and other things catering to that new foot traffic, which we haven't really had downtown in along time. So it's going to help. We need to see a few more Health Plans or hopefully something like them in the next few years," Elliott said.
So far, The Health Plan has already made a big impact.
Apartment buildings are full for the first time in years, whereas restaurants are seeing a lunch and dinner crowd.
"We're very excited. My neighbor friends are very excited to have more people down here. I'm already seeing more and more Health Plan people come in all the time. It's going to be good for everything, I think," said Dave McFarland, Owner of Mmm Popcorn.
"Usually we're dead during the winter. So this is great. We've definitely increased business probably by about 25% since they've been here. We love it. We love having them here," added Christopher Burress, Owner of Tito's Sloppy Dogs.
Of course, officials know they still have a long way to go in revitalizing downtown, but The Health Plan is a big step forward.
"I think people are going to be showing pictures of the new Downtown now and that's exciting. They're looking at it as a place to invest and to come and make it a destination, not just a place that was a great pace back in 1950," Elliott said.
Officials said they've enjoyed seeing more foot traffic downtown, but this is just the beginning.
Stay with 7News for updates on future projects.