According to the Wetumpka Herald, HGTV was recently back in town filming a follow-up special scheduled to air on December 10, 2023. The show will feature updates on businesses and residents in the two towns where stars Ben and Erin Napier have overseen transformations — Wetumpka, Alabama, and Fort Morgan, Colorado.
Here’s what you need to know:
Wetumpka Official Spills the Beans on Upcoming HGTV Special
HGTV has confirmed on its website that a one-hour special called “Home Town Takeover: Where Are They Now?” will premiere on December 10 at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
The synopsis reads, “The small town renewal movement is working! The Napiers took on the revival of Wetumpka, AL, and the Marrs jumped onboard to help take on yet another community, Fort Morgan, CO. Now, they’re checking on the continued growth in these two amazing towns.”
The Napiers led the first town makeover on HGTV in Wetumpka in 2021, with help on several of the 12 projects from other HGTV stars like “Rock the Block” host Ty Pennington and “Fixer to Fabulous” stars Dave and Jenny Marrs.
In 2022, the Napiers and Marrs teamed up to give Fort Morgan a makeover for the series’ second season, tackling 18 projects across the community. The second season aired in the spring of 2023.
Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Shellie Whitfield told the Wetumpka Herald, “Half of it showcases Fort Morgan from the second season of ‘Home Town Takeover.’ The other half showcases Wetumpka.”
To showcase how Wetumpka continues to evolve, Whitfield said that HGTV crews returned in August to film at various locations that have been upgraded since the first season aired. Spots where they filmed included the Kelly Fitzpatrick Center for the Arts, the WOW restaurant under construction, at a Wetumpka High School football game and at the Restoration Coffeehouse where a coffee drink is named “Hometown.”
“I hope Ben and Erin will talk about how much they miss being here,” Whitfield told the paper. “I think Erin will swoon over how much she misses Wetumpka.”
It won’t be the first time HGTV has provided an update on the town. A similar special aired a few months after the first season to check in on Wetumpka.
Fort Morgan Residents Say Being Part of ‘Home Town Takeover’ Has Been ‘Very Exciting’
Meanwhile, the town of Fort Morgan has had a wild year of going from struggling to bustling.
Julie Tuttle, who owns the renovated Zazzy Café with her husband, Dallas, told the Denver Post that on the morning after their episode of “Home Town Takeover” premiered in April, she woke up to 200 Facebook messages from people saying they saw her on TV. Tuttle also said they’ve had visitors from all over the country since being featured on HGTV.
“It’s just so bizarre,” she said of seeing herself on television. “To always watch those shows on TV and to be like one of those people [on TV]. It’s still kind of weird but very exciting.”
“We have so many things to offer here for tourists to come and see and check out,” Tuttle said of her hometown. “It’s very exciting to see all this positive energy come to town,” Tuttle said. “I hope it creates positive change to build and grow the town.”
On “The Drew Barrymore Show,” Ben said the purpose of the makeovers in the two towns was slightly different. In Wetumpka, he said, they needed to revitalize the town in hopes of creating more jobs and giving people “a reason to live here.”
“In Fort Morgan, that place has more jobs than they have people,” he explained. “But there was just no life there.”
He said that when they’d ask residents what they do for fun, they’d say they would drive 45 minutes to the next town. So, part of the mission was to create places to congregate and create community in the town, from revitalizing the local bowling alley to renovating the community park.