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Old 02-22-2009, 09:02 AM
 
9,738 posts, read 10,433,875 times
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The course of our daily lives has change so much in the last 40ty years as to make down towns obsolete. people complain about parking. Down towns were designed with no parking because many people used to live down town. Women shopped during the day. Now women work all day and downtowns are closed at 5:50 pm. Even refrigerators were small and people bought food every day, If you live in a small town you will notice that there were small stores on practically every city block. An older long retired saleman pointed out these buildings to me were he would deliver pencils, pens, tissue paper, writing paper,ect. That stuff is sold in one isle at Walmart. Walmart isn't the culprit, Its stubborn business owners, chambers of commerce,city councils , who would'nt change with the times. I have always belived that Down town have to reinvent them selves around the type of places that people need there like the Post office, mailing , social security office , things that cater to older or retired people who may be home all day. Also when me and my family of five got in the car to shop it takes about 10 minutes before somebody has to go to the bath room. All of the businesses in my down town say "No Public Restroom" thank god for walmart
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Old 02-22-2009, 09:34 AM
 
Location: NOT a native Pittsburgher
323 posts, read 744,199 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thriftylefty View Post
The course of our daily lives has change so much in the last 40ty years as to make down towns obsolete. people complain about parking. Down towns were designed with no parking because many people used to live down town. Women shopped during the day. Now women work all day and downtowns are closed at 5:50 pm. Even refrigerators were small and people bought food every day, If you live in a small town you will notice that there were small stores on practically every city block. An older long retired saleman pointed out these buildings to me were he would deliver pencils, pens, tissue paper, writing paper,ect. That stuff is sold in one isle at Walmart. Walmart isn't the culprit, Its stubborn business owners, chambers of commerce,city councils , who would'nt change with the times. I have always belived that Down town have to reinvent them selves around the type of places that people need there like the Post office, mailing , social security office , things that cater to older or retired people who may be home all day. Also when me and my family of five got in the car to shop it takes about 10 minutes before somebody has to go to the bath room. All of the businesses in my down town say "No Public Restroom" thank god for walmart
You are right. Even with the banks. Most banks used to be based in small towns or counties. Now everything is on a national level.
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Old 02-22-2009, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
18,288 posts, read 20,813,997 times
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thriftylefty very good points. I only see one problem putting all things downtown for elderly and disabled it would be hard for them to walk to each place. Unless you have a complex downtown that held them all under one roof.

I think downtowns could be brought back with music venues, deli and food joints to spark interest. Around Indiana we don't have those types of things in my area especially. We still have small town banks here.

Hate seeing the old buildings deteriorate or be torn down. But I know it is costly to bring them back to life too.
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Old 02-23-2009, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Kennesaw, GA
167 posts, read 770,340 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thriftylefty View Post
The course of our daily lives has change so much in the last 40ty years as to make down towns obsolete. people complain about parking. Down towns were designed with no parking because many people used to live down town. Women shopped during the day. Now women work all day and downtowns are closed at 5:50 pm. Even refrigerators were small and people bought food every day, If you live in a small town you will notice that there were small stores on practically every city block. An older long retired saleman pointed out these buildings to me were he would deliver pencils, pens, tissue paper, writing paper,ect. That stuff is sold in one isle at Walmart. Walmart isn't the culprit, Its stubborn business owners, chambers of commerce,city councils , who would'nt change with the times. I have always belived that Down town have to reinvent them selves around the type of places that people need there like the Post office, mailing , social security office , things that cater to older or retired people who may be home all day. Also when me and my family of five got in the car to shop it takes about 10 minutes before somebody has to go to the bath room. All of the businesses in my down town say "No Public Restroom" thank god for walmart
I'm not sure that downtown will actually need to reinvent itself for our current culture. I don't think our current culture is going to be around much longer anyway. Things come full circle. At some point people will move back into the little towns and city cores and revitalize. They call it "live,work,play," like it's some new concept or something. In the coming years, I don't think it will just be seniors living in downtown areas, but lots of young people, possibly families. Hopefully, the parking won't be such as issue if gas prices skyrocket and more people forfeit the family SUV. All these things will have to happen at the local level. I read threads like this one on several boards. There is a HUGE desire in America for this cozy small town environment, but it requires some sort of a lifestyle change to have it. Hopefully, this recession will bring citizens together to recreate the nostalgic communitites of our past. I would LOVE to be a part of something like this!
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
4,128 posts, read 5,440,035 times
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I need to point out the fact that most small towns "downtowns" are victim to the suburban Wal Mart culture. The large chain stores dictate the prices we pay and can easily out compete anyone willing to cast a venture in a small town downtown area. In order for us to re-invent our main-steet we all would have to reduce our contribution to those Chain Stores. There has to be a reson to exist. Our small town is like any, there are boarded up store fronts that remain as such. In order to make those attracive to new business, there needs to be a change in culture.

One such vision has a town such as ours that could benefit from returning the look to the way it was historically. Tear up the concrete sidewalks and replace them with Wood. Bring back some more tourist like businesses to fill in that void. Now when someone passes by our town all they see is just another town, nothing special. The change would be dramatic and could attract traffic off the highway that normally only stops for our cheap gas. It would also be pricey but it would be worth it. Such a vision is of that "re-invent" thought process. Ah money, if we only had some of that, the re-invention process could work.
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:36 AM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,686,634 times
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A town near me has no grocery store whatsoever ( about 800 population)

The locals were quite upset when the grocery store/ meat market closed.

The ones most upset were the ones who never shopped there.

Go figure !
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
4,128 posts, read 5,440,035 times
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Speaking of closing... The local America Legion in my "small town" is facing serious finance problems. They held an open meeting last night to discuss this with the local towns people. The club is still amost brand new. A few years back the old building burned to the ground. It was nearly a three year process to rebuild and get the place opened once again. In that three years all the regulars that once spent time and their money there moved on and created new nitches. When the Legion re-opened many of them did not return. Or did they and the folks running the place aren't doing such a hot job? They are going to have to open the books to us so that we can review it and determine what the issue is.

First on the agenda will be a fund raiser - some sort of dinner to quickly raise some capital. Now the food service there has been shakey at best. The quality of the food coming out of that kitchen varies way to much for my liking. Someone needs to get in there, kind of like Gordon Ramsey and shape them up.

The Legion is a public bar and the food there is mostly bar food. Hard to get that stuff to wrong, but they are. We can't have them closing up the place, they have about the only Banquet rooms available in the area. All year long they rent it out for weddings dances and community meetings. It would be hard to replace it.

One thing I believe they need to do, something they have been resistent to is to begin Bingo again. They have the facility for it. I think they should get rid of the strip ticket window. I've seen people spend so much over there that could have been spent over the bar. I'm not sure what the strip tickets actually fund. It's free money for something.

Anywho, they need to open up the books so that we can have a look at things. I've run a night club in the past and a local bar. I could spot the areas where they are bleeding out. I also have extensive experience in the world of food preparation, but I'm not sure I want to share too much with them in case I want to open some sort of business in that area, the possibility does exist. I may just volunteer to help get the Bingo games rolling again just to get some people in the building.

They need help and we need them to remain open. Yikes what a delema. And here we were just worried about getting the Easter Egg hunt ready... What's next??? There is enough going on in this small town to keep anyone wishing to become involved busy beyond belief.

If anyone has any suggestions about activities that we could propose; I'm listening. The Legion is right on the main drag (two lane highway) and we are going to be having a weekly Farmer's Market there on the side lot between Memorial Day and Labor Day. That's one thing. (for Friday Eves) Anything else that could help?
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:51 PM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,158,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Has anyone noticed the design of newer malls? They're replicating the "small town downtown look".
I have. I was in Minneapolis (or just outside-plymouth perhaps) where a mall owner designed it to look like a small down town. The people at work were bragging about it, but I almost puked. It was supposed to be like the down towns in New England, but it was pretty bad in my opinion.

I wish there was a way to bring downtown's back for real myself. Bangor is looking pretty sad, but Newport is far worse. I honestly do not think anything can look so sad as Cairo,ILL. (No offense to those towns, it just looks sad.)
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Ohio
668 posts, read 1,928,045 times
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I never did understand why they started building "malls"?? Naturally, small towns cant compete with a huge megamall that has every store under the Sun. Mom and Pop cant afford to move out of the building they have owned and operated forever, just to go to the megacomplex and get all the customers.

lets face it, if you have a great product, no matter where you are, people will flock to where you are...Take Pizza places! They dont have to move, but have a good pizza and people will go out of thier way to find you.

Unfortunately, thats not true for every business, because if your not 'out there' in the public's eye, then some people refuse to use the Yellow Pages to find you, so, you have to be visible and inviting to the public and thats usually on a major thoroughfare, be it highway or mall.

Just my opinion.

May the LORD Bless each of you.

I wish you well...

Jesse
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Rolla, Phelps County, Ozarks, Missouri
1,069 posts, read 2,255,705 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slamont61 View Post
I need to point out the fact that most small towns "downtowns" are victim to the suburban Wal Mart culture. The large chain stores dictate the prices we pay and can easily out compete anyone willing to cast a venture in a small town downtown area. In order for us to re-invent our main-steet we all would have to reduce our contribution to those Chain Stores.
Maybe Wal-Mart killed your downtown, I don't know, but I reject the notion that Wal-Mart is responsible for the death of downtowns. I think the problem is we are more mobile than we were in the 40s and 50s, even the 60s, when downtowns thrived in small towns like Rolla, MO.

I think the problem here is people hop in their cars and go to St. Louis and Springfield to do their "serious shopping," a phrase I read here from people who want to move to small towns from big cities.

Rolla's downtown has three jewelry stores, a men's clothing store and a lumberyard/hardware store, as well as a couple of used book stores, a used computer store, couple of restaurants, a day spa, the library, a print shop, barbershops, insurance agencies, an electronics store and other miscellaneous businesses I can't think of right now.

Now, Wal-Mart is not harming the sales of anyone downtown. I think the jewelry stores and the men's clothing store would do better (although I think they're doing all right now) if people would do their serious shopping here instead of going to the big diamond stores and men's clothing stores in the Chesterfield Mall and the Galleria up in St. Louis or the Battlefield Mall down in Springfield.

The people who shop at Wal-Mart are folks who can't afford to drive to the city and can't afford to buy diamonds or fancy pants men's clothing. The professors and their wives up at the university aren't going to Wal-Mart and they're not doing most of their shopping in Rolla at all; they go up to St. Louis. Same thing with the people in the civil service jobs, especially those with the high GS ratings.

I don't see Wal-Mart as the culprit.
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