Formed in 1963 by a group of merchants whose goal was to keep Downtown Visalia healthy and vibrant, Visalians Inc., or Downtown Visalians encompasses about 72 square blocks of downtown.
1963 was the beginning of the chain stores fleeing from city centers to mall locations in towns all over California. Visalia’s downtown lost J.C. Penny, J.J. Newberry, Sears, Montgomery Ward and Woolworth stores.
Downtown Visalians threw themselves into promoting downtown. Because of this early and steadfast commitment of these merchants, Visalia is one of the most successful downtowns of its size in California.
Downtown Visalians is governed by a 15-member board of directors elected by the members and two appointed members of the district. A member is deemed to be a business owner within the boundaries who can provide a current City of Visalia Business License.