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No, really — the future IS Fresno

San Francisco is a hotbed of culture and art, and Los Angeles is the home of cinematic legends. And somewhere in between lies Fresno.

It’s easy to discard the Central Valley and write it off as – literally – flat and lifeless, but it’s actually the complete opposite.

Aside from being a key area for agricultural growth, Fresno is a quickly growing and changing city full of promise.

Last year’s national census proved that Fresno’s population had grown over 5 percent in the last six years. Fresno county has almost a million inhabitants.

Fresno State is a California university growing every day in mission and reputation. According to recent data, Fresno State has enrolled more students than either the University of California, Santa Barbara and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

In addition to our physical growth, Fresno State has been featured as a top 25 college by Washington Monthly two years running.

Educational growth is not the only thing happening here. After announcements that online sales giant Amazon and cosmetic company Ulta are opening distribution centers in Fresno in the next year, citizens of Fresno anticipate dramatic economic growth.

Fresno also houses a quickly growing arts scene itself, hosting events like ArtHop each month. Arthop offers artists throughout town a chance to showcase their work, through the cultural epicenter that is Downtown Fresno.

The Save Mart Center hosts artists of diverse interests and is growing as a venue in terms of popularity and mainstream performers. Because of this, citizens all over the Central Valley flock towards Fresno for any given concert – from Garth Brooks, to Paul McCartney, to Janet Jackson.

In addition to the revitalization of downtown, the Tower District is bursting with new and promising businesses after the renovation of Mia Kuppa, now called The Revue. Another recent addition to Tower includes Hi-Top Coffee and people are anticipating the reopening of Livingstone’s, a popular spot for nightlife.

The constantly changing state of the city only causes more reason for promise and positive change.

And then there’s the obvious. Nestled between two of the most expensive places to live within the state and California being difficult to afford as it is, Fresno has some of the most affordable housing that California has to offer.

Though some might dread the thought of setting down roots in the Central Valley, in general, Fresno offers the opportunity to live between two established cultural and economic powerhouses and holds its own in terms of opportunities to grow.

While only short drives away from Disneyland and the Golden Gate alike, Fresno continuously offers promise in all areas – educational, economic and the arts – and continues to challenge naysayers who doubt its growth.

Whether you like it or not, the future is Fresno – and it’s here to stay.