NEW PORT RICHEY – New Port Richey’s Main Street program continues to thrive and receive positive reviews after a summer conference brought attendees from across the state.

The Main Street program is designed to build stronger communities and high-quality places through preservation-based economic development.

A Preservation on Main Street conference was held downtown July 21-24, and it was its first year partnering with the Historical Preservation of Florida Trust. Melissa Smith, executive director for NPR Main Street, presented a final report based on the conference to city council members.

The event featured more than 200 directors, board members, and city officials from around the state. Activities included 30-plus classes a day with speakers at Schwettman School, historical walks and ghost investigations, a dinner with Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee, kayak trips, and boat tours among other happenings.

The conference had positive reviews, according to Smith, with attendees returning to visit downtown New Port Richey the following week because of activities they missed out on during the conference.

Smith added that she recently returned from attending the quarterly Main Street Conference in Crystal River and representatives are still talking about New Port Richey’s Main Street program in a positive light.

“They were saying how great it was and how lucky we are to have the area we have,” Smith said. “They’re actually looking at things we have done to put into their own cities. We’ve made quite an impact.”

The report included New Port Richey Main Street’s revenue and expenditure. The previous year’s budget was set at $33,475 and expenses were as expected at $15,813.80. Profit made during that time was $17,661.20.

City council members praised the New Port Richey Main Street program for doing a good job for the community and reported they had similarly heard good reviews from the July conference.