Families in Wisconsin Rapids have weathered good times and bad times, but they're excited about what's developing now.
"We've got an opportunity here that not many communities have ..." Mayor Jerry Bach said, "to add jobs in a tough time."
Dozens of those jobs are coming from the Rapids Mall.
"We've created about 60 jobs in the last two months," said new owner Sheldon Ferkey, who was born and raised in Wisconsin Rapids. "We knew that the mall had enormous potential and the only thing it was lacking was local ownership."
People say the mall was virtually empty before the new ownership.
"We've opened eight stores in the past eight weeks." Ferkey said.
Shoppers say they can feel and see the difference.
"Just in the past few months it's really picked up again," said long-time Rapids resident Nancy Peters. "And it's nice to see some new stores coming in and actually come in here and see people."
The mall's new owner says he hopes to have half a dozen more stores open in time for the holidays.