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Old 07-09-2010, 02:14 PM
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
16,305 posts, read 13,790,176 times
Reputation: 4926


Originally Posted by Lariat View Post
Rapid City, South Dakota is in planning stages of getting Wal-Mart #2. Rapid City has 50k population. Not a small town by any means...

Towns shouldn't be judged by how many Wal-Marts as it's inaccurate. The better way is to count how many national chain brands are operating in your town.
My town would also lose big time in such a count, yet my town is frequently referred to a small college town. And if it becomes eligible to be a metro city from the 2010 census, it will still be referred to in that way. What's small and big can vary a lot.
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:15 PM
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
16,305 posts, read 13,790,176 times
Reputation: 4926
Originally Posted by BrokenTap View Post
Everyone's definition of a "small town" is different I guess, but to me, if a town has a Walmart, it's not small. When I think of small I think less than 1500 people...
And to the mainstream media it seems a place has to be over, say, 250,000 in population before they won't refer to it as small.
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Old 07-09-2010, 03:00 PM
9,807 posts, read 13,682,398 times
Reputation: 8170
I'm always amazed in the states forum about town size.

People complaining that certain cities of 100,000 are devoid of shopping opportunities and one must travel 50-100 miles to a bigger city.

I sometimes wonder if people don't post that expecting readers to think------" wow, there is a shopper who has particular tastes "
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:37 PM
501 posts, read 1,129,650 times
Reputation: 889
It started with the second stoplight. Then the housing boom hit and instead of 2 coffee stands for the people who come through on holidays and during hunting season, there were 12 (that is when I stopped counting) - and these were espresso type places no less. This is called a cowtown, total rural ranching type community, along with other inhabitants here for what used to be called poverty with a view, until the boom.

I stopped counting when we went from maybe 4 real estates offices to 15+ during the height of the boom. And then the Starbucks opened. And across the street from it was the old defunct lumber mill, whose owner was actively planning the huge themed shopping mall that he wanted to see there. Oh, and up the hill was the enormous planned development by what we'd call the ritzy upscale company (other lesser developments platted elsewhere). I was eating one day at the local old fashioned burger joint (been around since the 50s), and overheard several conversations at other tables - all men from California starting construction businesses. It was lunacy - none of this could be supported unless the good times continued to escalate and roll on forever...

It all stopped like they'd hit a brick wall. Business closing and boarded up. One of the local 3 main grocery stores almost went bankrupt. The coffee carts and real estate shops started disappearing. Property deals fell through. The big planned ritzy development was shelved after just a few homes were spec'd. Other lots for sale in lesser developments are just sagebrush. I haven't checked recently, but earlier this year our county/city's unemployment rate was around 20%. One month the car break-ins were happening one a damned day (unlocked cars for the most part). Lots of assaults, drunken driving, MIP, and the kids doing work for us on the ranch said that when they get up early to get to work (or as I suspect, they never go to bed in the first place), they see kids they know out selling drugs around town about 4am.

On the pizza deal - we live so far out that I found a recipe for pizza, and now make awesome pizza with things I can keep on hand. I don't even want a "town" pizza anymore, nor does dh.
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:47 PM
Location: Western North Carolina
5,039 posts, read 8,028,687 times
Reputation: 10809
I do have to say that I lived in a very small town in Montana where the "shopping" district (that included a Walmart) was about 30 miles away. The local Mom and Pop drug store in our little town did take advantage of this, I mean $3.00 for a bottle of Suave shampoo is a bit much.
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:00 PM
Location: IN
21,104 posts, read 36,596,839 times
Reputation: 13661
Originally Posted by MoNative34 View Post
You know a small town loses when the "Mom and Pop" businesses gouge their customers because they don't have competition.
Have you ever heard of the multiplier effect of buying local? A much higher percentage of that money stays in the local economy instead of going straight to the big box business. This means more reinvestment in the local economy if the leaders are even slightly entreprenurial.

NO FAN of Wal Mart here. If I need something I only go to Target. They may be a bit higher in price, but it is worth not having to deal with the nonsense at Wal Mart!
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:42 PM
Location: playing in the colorful Colorado dirt
4,486 posts, read 4,535,954 times
Reputation: 6970
when the fire department takes an hour and a half to get to your farm to put out the fire your neighbor started in your field (by accident) because they took the scenic route.
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:12 PM
Location: NoVA
1,382 posts, read 2,299,968 times
Reputation: 1934
My town has.....
  • lost almost 30% of it's blue-collar utopia union jobs when GM closed up every plant in town. Ever seen "Roger & Me"? Carbon-copy of my town, which at one time had the 2nd highest concentration of GM workers in the world, which is saying alot for a place that at one point had a population of about 70,000. Speaking of population, my town has.....
  • seen a population decline of approximately 15,000 since 1970. It continues to decline to this day.
  • closed a majority of it's public schools due to rapidly declining enrollment which is caused/fueled by poor academic performance. Of all the schools I attended only the elementary school remains and that's only because it was private. Speaking of school, my town has...
  • a high school graduation rate of somewhere around 27% last time I checked. Not too bright of a future when your town is almost a real-life Idiocracy.
  • property values are below state and national averages, wages are below state and national averages, salaries, tax bases, job growth, economic growth, yup...all below average and show no signs of improvement.

I could write an encyclopedia of what's happened but...nevermind.

Oh but wait, we have a fairly new casino in addition to our horse track! Now people have two places to blow their welfare checks!

I moved away years ago, came back due to unforeseen circumstances, and I can't wait to move away again once and for all. All of my friends have moved away, most of my family has moved away, and now I'm trying to convince my parents to move just so I don't have to come back to this dump for visiting. No luck yet, but I ain't giving up!
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:19 PM
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 11,024,273 times
Reputation: 3849
I'd love to have some of those artsy shops. We used to have an assortment of stores now what we have is a multitude of tattoo shops and bars (no food, no room for dancing) and little else. If that doesn't let you know the place has gone down the tubes I don't know what does?
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:53 AM
Location: Midvale, Idaho
1,568 posts, read 2,433,930 times
Reputation: 1967
LOL I forgot to mention. Many years ago when we first moved to Idaho we lived in Clayton. Then the population was 32 and 8 years later had gone up to 49 people. We were 25 miles each way to a grocery store and 189 miles each way to a K-Mart!! No internet then. There was some local shopping in Challis 25 miles away. We like it over here much better and considering what we came from shopping here is a piece of cake. We had moved to Clayton from Sacramento County in Calif. Talk about a change of pace. We both loved it. We were younger then. That 189 mile drive would be pretty hard on us now.

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