Leavenworth, Washington, is a small town at the base of the Cascade Mountains, very near the center of the state. It started out as a small timber community, and in the early 1900's, became home to the second largest sawmill in Washington, and was also the headquarters of the Great North Railroad. When the lumber industry died and the railroad left, Leavenworth struggled economically. Then, in the 1960's, the town leaders decided to use the backdrop of the alpine hills and turn the town into a tourist destination. Using Solvang, California, as their inspiration, they completely renovated the downtown area and transformed it into a Bavarian village, complete with many festivals, to draw revelers into the town. The idea worked as Leavenworth soon became a top tourist spot in the Pacific Northwest, with more than a million tourists each year. The town is only 1.25 square miles and in 2012, the population was recorded at 1,989. In November, 2007, the televison show "Good Morning America" went to Leavenworth to help light up the town for the Christmas season. A&E (The Arts and Entertainment Network), named Leavenworth the "Ultimate Holiday Town in the USA".