2016: The Year of Northeast Ohio

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As crowds across the globe gathered last year to welcome in 2016, few would have predicted the incredible year that lay ahead for Northeast Ohio. King James and the Cavaliers delivered the city its first professional sports championship in more than fifty years; despite a highly contentious political atmosphere, Cleveland shined as host to the Republican National Convention; and, while it didn’t end quite as we all had hoped, the region rallied behind the Cleveland Indians for an improbable run to the World Series. Together, these events helped propel Northeast Ohio into the national spotlight, enabling audiences across the nation and world to see us as more than a so-called rust-belt city. What is more, these events provided an opportunity to change Northeast Ohio’s narrative, focusing not just on our winning sports teams but on the ongoing renaissance that is transforming our region for generations to come.

With all the media attention placed on Cleveland and Northeast Ohio throughout the past year, audiences across the nation have had an opportunity to learn about the many positive developments shaping our region. Countering many outdated notions of Northeast Ohio, reporters have highlighted our growing ‘eds and meds’ sector, Downtown Cleveland’s revitalization, the unique and charming neighborhoods that are attracting millennials, the region’s popular foodie scene and so much more. Through this surge in media coverage, Northeast Ohio has been able to tell its story – a story that doesn’t include a burning river but one of revitalization and economic growth.

To help illustrate this even further, below we have compiled a few examples of the positive coverage the region garnered throughout the past year. This is just a sampling of the coverage received yet it speaks to the underlying transformation taking place across Northeast Ohio.

2016 Media Coverage Highlights

“Cleveland’s safe and successful turn as host of the Republican National Convention has helped establish it as an ideal location for large events but also a city that people will consider when deciding where to live and do business.” – Associated Press, July 22

“Cleveland has been a fantastic host city…Cleveland’s walkability, cleanliness, friendliness, and even its weather have drawn nothing but rave reviews.” – Dan Primack, Fortune, July 21

“When I was growing up, downtown was a ghost town in the evening. Today it is the hot place to hang out and the number of people living downtown has soared 80 percent since 2000.” – Mary Jordan, The Washington Post, July 16

“Today, thousands of new residents live downtown. An ‘eds and meds’ sector is powering new job creation, and many once forlorn neighborhoods are home to young millennial professionals and trendy microbreweries.” – Salon.com, July 19

“Great restaurants, good beer, you know it’s just a really cool place to live now and it’s defying some people’s expectations of the city.” – Fergus Nicoll, BBC, July 20

“You know what they call Cleveland? City of Champions! Yeah, Cleveland!” – Joe Scarborough, Morning Joe, July 21

“Is this heaven or is this Cleveland?” – Savannah Guthrie, TODAY show, July 19

“Unbeknownst to most outsiders, Cleveland’s rebirth has been happening at street level for years. This gritty, ‘underdog’ city is now home to six James Beard award-winning chef-inspired restaurants, a thriving bar, arts, and music scene, and biomedical and ‘smart’ manufacturing start-ups that are quickly luring America’s youngest and brightest away from Boston, Austin, and Silicon Valley.” – Peter Lane Taylor, Forbes, October 27

“Right now, America’s hottest city for young professionals is Cleveland.” – Heather Long, CNN Money, November 1

“Cleveland has embraced the ‘foodie’ culture, as young millennials move downtown. They are the force behind a 70 percent jump in the city’s downtown population to over 13,000, according to the Downtown Cleveland Alliance. Apartment growth is already robust, with 4,000 units in the planning stages, and job growth in professional services and technology is helping to fill more and more housing.” – Diana Olick, CNBC, January 21

While no one can predict what 2017 may hold for Northeast Ohio, if 2016 is any indication, the region is just getting started. While we may not be hosting a major political convention, and we’ll have to wait and see if the Cavs can defend their NBA title, the work being done by our many esteemed organizations, institutions and individuals will continue to propel our region forward. After all, as most Northeast Ohioans can attest, the region’s transformation extends beyond the Cavs, Indians and RNC – it has been in the making for many years and has involved a long list of talented individuals with an invested interest in seeing our region thrive.

Here’s to a tremendous 2016, Northeast Ohio!