Sunset Strip's seeking a revival

Dec. 31, 2009 at 8:01 PM

HOLLYWOOD, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Sunset Strip in Hollywood is getting repaved for the first time in 75 years to restore some of the fading boulevard's former grandeur, officials say.

No one has paved this stretch since Los Angeles County replaced the original dirt road with concrete back in the Depression, the Los Angeles Times reports.

In its heyday, the legendary Strip attracted the likes of movie stars Humphrey Bogart, Greta Garbo and Sir Laurence Olivier. Not to mention Doors singer Jim Morrison.

"There's probably chewing gum spit out by Jim Morrison in front of the Whisky a Go-Go," West Hollywood Councilman John Duran said. "Don't tell anybody or they'll want to go pick it up."

About 1.6 miles of the Strip will be repaved and some new wider walkways framed by trees will be added. The project is expected to cost about $5.4 million, more than $1 million of it from federal stimulus funds, the Times said.

City officials and business owners hope the project helps revive a stretch that has struggled amid growing competition from outsiders and the lasting effects of the economic meltdown.

"This is sort of a revitalization in tough economic times," said Mikeal Maglieri, the owner of the Whisky a Go-Go and the Rainbow Room. "I think it's good for business. It's a face-lift. It's a rejuvenation. It needs to be done."

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