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DULUTH - A new development is beginning to unfold in Downtown Duluth.
Canal Park is basically full of business these days.
Superior Street seems to have something new in the works every month, and now First Street is beginning to see change with the city's first openly gay owned-and-operated night club.
As FOX 21's Dan Hanger reports, Mayor Don Ness talks about his thoughts on the city's revival and what his goal is for the future.
On Thursday, businessman Alvin Berg could be seen working with a crew of about a dozen inside his new business – The Flame Nightclub Duluth.
"It's been about three months of contractors, seven days a week, 10, 12, 16-hour days," Berg explained.
Berg says it's a strategic business move on First Avenue West and 1st Street that he and co-owner Vince Nelson say makes sense.
"I think there is so much going on here. Duluth is growing in the downtown, and I wanted to be part of that," Berg said.
The Flame (Duluth) is kitty corner to popular Aces on First and the newly opened Spurs on First and Hanabi, creating a new entertainment district that's not going unnoticed by Mayor Don Ness.
"I think it's interesting to see that First Street kind of creates its own night life scene. It's different than Canal Park. It's different than old downtown," Ness explained.
It's a level of difference that's advancing the culture and attractiveness of his city, according to Ness, especially with the opening of The Flame Nightclub Duluth.
"If you don't have quality of life, you're not going to have the talent that the employers need," Ness said.
"We're proud and happy to announce that. And we want to have a safe and fun atmosphere and environment, for the G.L.B.T community and in it for everybody else as well," Berg said.
"Clearly the gay and lesbian community in our nation and in the city of Duluth is a critical piece of our community. And so to have amenities that appeal to that demographic is also important to the overall health of our community," Ness said.
While Ness flat out says there's still a lot of work to the downtown with blighted buildings that aren't' being invested in by its owners, he says he's confident the city of Duluth is growing into something bigger than it ever thought it would reach.
"A vibrant arts scene, a great outdoors, an authentic sense of place that you can't manufacture in the suburb: That's what Duluth has to offer. That's the reason why talented people want to live here, and a vibrant downtown is absolutely a piece of that," Ness said.
"I think things have just become so much more progressive than they were 10, 20 years ago. Everyone is just more accepting and understanding," Berg explained.
The Flame Nightclub Duluth will open July 30.
Mayor Ness says just wait until 2014 when the new Nor Shore opens, the old KDLH building is flipped and the Lafarge site opens down by Bayfront Park.