Successful strategies for the economic development of rural areas can induce economic growth in communities, while unsuccessful strategies can hinder further growth opportunities. Entertainment districts are a new and increasingly popular way of bringing economic growth to communities. Identifying an economic development formula that has yielded success in the past can help communities avoid development projects that could harm their growth. This research examines two North Carolina communities, Rocky Mount and Roanoke Rapids, to evaluate which development measures will position an entertainment district for success or failure. A combination of comparative case study analysis, individual interviews, and secondary research is used to determine the best measures taken to create a prosperous entertainment district. This study shows that a combination of prior economic development experience, private funding, community backing, and adherence to feasibility studies breeds success when establishing entertainment districts for economic development. Communities should direct the development of entertainment districts to experienced developers with a presence in the community.