Koreatown boom a dud

After the U.S. waived the visa requirement for South Korean tourists, and Seoul loosened controls on foreign investment, Koreatown was expected to take off. Instead, the Los Angeles Business Journal says reality set in:

The stronger dollar and persisting fears of the swine flu are throttling tourism. In fact, the number of visitors is down, not up. And the economic downturn, worse than expected, has pinched the flow of South Korean money to Los Angeles.

Koreatown is the largest Korean community outside of Korea and any visitor there can see the effect. Restaurants that serve Korean barbecue are advertising half-off lunch specials and all-you-can eat buffets, while businesses that cater to tourists are reporting falling revenue.

But the most dramatic sign of a slowdown in the 7-square-mile area west of downtown is an epidemic of shuttered storefronts.

Hey, and in a couple of months the sidewalks will undergo an infusion of children and teens from the schools built ion the former Ambassador Hotel site.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent Economy stories on LA Observed:
Federal judge in LA files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy
Frantic searches to set up shop in tony parts of L.A.
Best commentary on Greg Smith's exit from Goldman Sachs
More restaurant closures plus a couple of newbies *
This might be my favorite L.A. video of the year

New at LA Observed
Follow us on Twitter

On the Media Page
Go to Media
On the Politics Page
Go to Politics

LA Biz Observed
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook