Simpsons-themed shopping area proposed for Springfield, Ore.
A "Welcome to Springfield" sign along a road in Springfield, Ore. is seen on April 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - A businessman in Springfield, Ore., says it's time for the city to embrace its most famous fictional residents and create a shopping district with a "Simpsons" theme.
Jack Koehler owns Sweety's Frozen Yogurt, and he says business has been up since he put a set of Simpson statues in front of his store. He thinks the city should get involved, and he's proposing that a few blocks of downtown Springfield be turned into a Simpsons-themed shopping district.
The city's community relations manager, Niel Laudati, tells KVAL there's no demand from the public, and he doubts anyone wants to spend tax dollars to license cartoon characters.
But Laudati says the city would get behind the idea if it would benefit downtown and if other business owners and the community supported it.
"The Simpsons" show creator Matt Groening acknowledged earlier this year that the western Oregon city about 100 miles south of his hometown of Portland is the basis for the Springfield in his sitcom.