Ascend Pickens


In 2011, Pickens Revitalization Association (PRA) was created as an economic development partner for the City of Pickens. Founded on the principles of the National Main Street Center, PRA used the four-point approach in its mission.  As a unique economic development tool, the Main Street Four-Point Approach® is the foundation for local initiatives to revitalize their districts by leveraging local assets—from cultural or architectural heritage to local enterprises and community pride.PRA worked alongside the City of Pickens to empower the Pickens community with the knowledge, skills, tools and organizational structure necessary to revitalize Pickens into a vibrant center of commerce and community.


Over the years, PRA has been involved in several projects that have helped to strengthen Pickens, from beautification efforts downtown, development of the Amphitheater, Doodle Trail and Doodle Park, to coming alongside businesses and shepherding them through the process of locating in Pickens with our Business Assistance Guide.  In 2018, board members of PRA began to realize that our methods needed to adapt to the times and began to move away from the Main Street approach and focus more on the city as a whole, rather than just the downtown corridor. 


Having accomplished many of the projects from the original master plan in 2012, PRA realized the need for Pickens to refresh our master plan, and an opportunity to strengthen the relationship with City Council and other partners. The volunteer board of Pickens Revitalization Association, in conjunction with Blake Sanders of Studio Main LLC and Tripp Muldrow of Arnett Muldrow and Associates, developed a new master plan for the community, culminating with a presentation in mid-April. It is at the direction of this new plan that PRA has decided to rebrand into Ascend Pickens, Inc, a non-profit partner of the City of Pickens, dedicated to enhancing the economic vitality of downtown Pickens. It is notable that downtown Pickens sits on a ridge and is visible from nearly all approaches. This ascent into downtown is reflective of the goal of Ascend Pickens to create a downtown that serves as a place of pride, investment, and opportunity for residents and visitors to a growing area. Not unlike our goals in previous years as Pickens Revitalization Association, it is the mission of Ascend Pickens, Inc. to:


  • Create jobs through retaining and recruiting businesses
  • Enhance community character through physical improvements
  • Promote events and activities to draw people downtown, and
  • Partner with the City of Pickens, the Greater Pickens Chamber of Commerce and others on ongoing improvements


Organizations like Ascend Pickens that are charged with the economic vitality of a community have a distinct and necessary mission. Government alone cannot create economic success without the needed partnership of the private sector. Nearly all of the successful downtown economic development efforts nationally are the consequence of a strategic partnership of the governing body of a community and a non-profit partner that engages with the private sector and the community at-large. Pickens is no different.


Together we rise!