Yakima officials are traveling around the state looking at how cities are seeing success in downtowns as Yakima works to redevelop its downtown area, and on Wednesday the city of Walla Walla hosted people from around here.

Ron Lonpeck, executive director of Tourism Walla Walla, says his city has been able to keep local businesses in the downtown area, retaining a local atmosphere.

We have a toy store that’s been in business for 80 years, we have a drugstore that’s not a franchise. We have a bookstore that’s not a Barnes and Noble. And we have some great locally owned restaurants.

Along with local shops and restaurants, Lonpeck says they also hold concerts downtown and cultural performances at three different playhouses. Downtown Walla Walla is also home to more than 25 wineries and tasting rooms.

Yakima city officials are learning all about Walla Walla's downtown, hoping to bring some ideas back to Yakima as the city looks to redesign the downtown area.