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Leaving RutVegas: A blue-collar city reinvents itself — and refutes its reputation

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2012-02-01

“Let’s talk about RutVegas.” Jim Sabataso is sitting at a small table in Café Terra, “Rutland’s best coffee shop” — and only one, he admits. Sabataso is 28 years old, bearded and friendly. His family goes back a long time in these parts: His great-grandparents emigrated from Italy and landed in Rutland; the Sabataso family has run the Palms restaurant downtown since 1933. Jim Sabataso is Rutland through and through. Which brings us back to “RutVegas.” “That’s our word, not yours,” Sabataso says. He’s good-natured about it, but there’s something to this. The Marble City has a chip on its shoulder...

...As executive director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development, Costello stepped in to guide the city’s early conversations about revitalization. Those centered on the idea of developing the creative economy, which involves making a place more innovative and exciting for young people and entrepreneurs. It’s what some in economic circles call “soft” development. Creative-economy projects may not translate into a new factory or dozens of new jobs, but they stand to improve a city’s overall health and vitality...  Read the whole article at Seven Days.