Blytheville hopes for makeover from HGTV's Home Town Takeover

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BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. — Blytheville is looking for a face-lift and hoping the popular HGTV network will choose the community for its Home Town Takeover contest.

According to HGTV, hosts of the network's Home Town series will take on their biggest renovation project ever — making over an entire town.

While dreary on the outside Thursday, there was great anticipation on the inside at the Blytheville mayor's office.

"So just showing that sense of community in the video is something we want to portray to HGTV," said Cody Wyatt, parks and activities director.

Wyatt has been sorting through pictures and videos of what makes Blytheville special.

"Of course we want to highlight our gorgeous, historic Greyhound Bus Station," Wyatt said.

Wyatt and a video production company are brainstorming what to put in the four-minute-long video they're sending to the HGTV Home Town Takeover contest.

Wyatt said the community is eager to take part.

"They really have reached out and said, 'Anything I can do to help you with this submission, you let me know. If you want me to be in the video, I will tell you how much I love Blytheville,'" Wyatt said. "That's really warmed our hearts, to see so many people who do care."

The contest is limited to towns with populations of less than 40,0000 people, homes and buildings with great architecture in need of some upgrades and a main street that needs a face-lift.

Wyatt doesn't know exactly what the budget is for the contest, but she said there are plenty of places that could use a team of professionals.

"I hope that we win," she said. "I hope we blow it out of the park."

Tobye McClanahan, a small business owner on Blytheville's Main Street, said she hopes HGTV sees the diamonds in the rough and brings their magic touch to the Arkansas town.

"We've got some buildings downtown that are old and historic but could be great places," McClanahan said. "We need someone to see past the blight and the condition they're in now."

The deadline for submission is Feb. 7.

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