Jessica Cejnar / Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 @ 1:43 p.m. / Community

The 'Small Town With The Big Heart's' HGTV Moment

CC_HGTV_HD from Johnathon DeSoto on Vimeo.

Billing its community as the “small town with the big heart,” Crescent City submitted its video along with other application materials to HGTV for a reality show makeover.

Spearheaded by residents Valerie Smith and her mother, Fran Makowsky, city staff and elected official banded together with business leaders to tell Crescent City’s story. The hope is to convince Ben and Erin Napier, the hosts of “Home Town Takeover,” to help revitalize the downtown area.

“It’s such a heartfelt thing to be a part of the community,” Smith told the Wild Rivers Outpost last week. “This is just the next big thing that we were able to be included in.”

According to Smith, she and about 31 other residents met at the new Bellanotte restaurant and created a Facebook group before approaching the city. Despite its scenic beauty, Smith said, the town’s buildings are so run down from the 1964 tsunami and the conveyor belt of storms Crescent City endures each year. The town needs a little bit more pride, she said.

“I want our town to have a shower, makeup and look nice so it can feel better,” Smith said.

Speaking before the Crescent City Council last week, City Manager Eric Wier said he hired a videographer, Jonathan DeSoto, to tell the community’s story.

The video features interviews from Wier, Crescent City Mayor Blake Inscore, Billie Kaye Gavin Tygart, owner of Six Degrees of Celebration and a member of the Downtown Divas, and businessman Kevin Hartwick.

“We’re a small community that’s just waiting for the opportunity to really get the facelift that it deserves,” Inscore said in DeSoto’s video.

In the video, Inscore tells of the loss of Crescent City’s downtown due to the 1964 tsunami and how quickly it was built back up.

“We got the moniker of ‘come back town USA,’” Inscore said, “but it was built back without all the charm that was there before the tsunami.”

DeSoto’s video features footage of the Crescent City Harbor, the current downtown area as well as historic photographs of Second Street before the tsunami.

“I always said if we could bottle nostalgia, this town, we could be millionaires,” Gavin Tygart said. “Because when people talk about it, it’s always something nostalgic before the tidal wave. Just need HGTV to give us that little miracle to bring us back to life.”

Smith, who was part of the Del Norte Cash Mob, a local group that visited, or mobbed, small businesses to shop, said though things have declined in the seven years she’s been here, people have a strong love for their community.

“We want to give Crescent City something to look at itself and say, ‘Hey, we’re not as bad as these people say we are,’” Smith said. “‘We’re better than that.’”


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