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Old 03-24-2009, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
1,954 posts, read 4,557,238 times
Reputation: 1826

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethany12 View Post
I got on this subject in another forum and I thought this would be a better place to get some feedback.
A big problem with our society now is the lack of community. We have given up main street for wall street. Everything has become bigger and corporate on a national scale. A town isn't the lifeline it once was to a community. There are so many small town main streets that are dying and yet sprawl seems to be rampant. Downtowns used to be the headquarters for small local or regional businesses and now that has been destroyed in favor of nationalization.
Maybe we shouldn't be blaming the government or ceos for the current economy but instead blame ourselves.
Agree 100%. I have seen this first hand. Where I grew up the traditional downtown has been decimated by big box shopping and a mall. This area is not economically strong to begin with, and many of the mom and pop stores that made the town somewhat vital no longer exist. Now many neighborhoods near the old dead downtown have become dilapidated because it is not a pleasant area to be near anymore. City leaders did not have any vision on what the town should be. These new shopping areas were basically pushed upon the town in the name of "progress' at the time, not because there was some outcry for big box stores. The net result has certainly not been better shopping in the area. It is not just large urban ares that get hit by sprawl.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
1,954 posts, read 4,557,238 times
Reputation: 1826
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenTap View Post
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.)
I have seen several of these fake "downtown" mall developments, none of which were very good. None of them were well interconnected with the surrounding communities and still made it basically feel like you are going to a mall. Hopefully they get better over time if this trend continues. The sad part is many of them are only miles from real downtowns that continue to decline.
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:16 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
18,288 posts, read 20,811,069 times
Reputation: 41092
Quote:
Originally Posted by slamont61 View Post
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?
In the tough times ahead it is going to be important rural areas get back to basics. With your Legion it is vital that you focus on whole family events that will bring in the community. Maybe hold a free family movie night where you can sell concessions keeping in mind a family's budget. In warmer weather you could make the side of your building the screen or put up a large sheet or tarp and have folks bring their own lawn chairs.

~~You could do an ice cream social with baked goods on the side to sell.

~~Halloween costume party with prizes awarded. Again focusing on the family all together. You could have children prizes as well as adult if you wanted. Serve pizza slices or hot dogs and juice for a flat fee.

~~Santa party have a child friendly buffet set at one price nothing too complicated. Have treat bags for the kids to take home after Santa pops in for a visit. Sell pictures for a buck or two of kids sitting on his lap.

Do you have other gambling there besides bingo? Have a Monte Crisco night with all types of game tables folks can venture to. This is all I can think of right now but just remember involving the whole family will get more in your community to your center. Good luck.
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Old 03-26-2009, 05:30 PM
 
61 posts, read 208,816 times
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If you want to have a look at what a thriving downtown looks like.

I present to you Lawrence, KS.

It is a mid sized college town(not small), but the downtown is topped by none.

If you have google earth just type in lawrence, ks, zoom in and take a look at street view.
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
10,234 posts, read 14,174,997 times
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I think the basic blame for a lot of it is that too many Americans want something for nothing. A small town could very well provide everything for our basic, even not-so-basic needs, yet people will still pile into their cars and drive 50 miles to the nearest Wal-Mart.

There is also that subliminal arousal of being inside a BIG store offering limitless varieties of everything in all 64 of Crayola Crayons' colors.

I grew up in a tiny town, with a slightly bigger town 17 miles up the road. We had a little bit of everything except a record store. The bigger town had two of them. But in the 60's, as small as our town was (3000 pop. at the time), we had three groceries stores, two banks, three variety (cheap) stores, two drug stores, two burgers stands (that are still there, surprisingly) and a couple of decent clothing stores. Those businesses all kept afloat, others did extremely well, but today it is almost a ghost of what it used to be. Wal-Mart is in the bigger town up the road.

Also, I think people have lost the ability to appreciate simplicity in lifestyles. If they're not stimulated with excitement every waking minute of the day then they're bored.
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
18,288 posts, read 20,811,069 times
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Bluesbabe good insight thanks for sharing. Sadly too many smaller town businesses are closing up.
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:19 PM
 
Location: Middle America
37,143 posts, read 43,064,244 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoNative34 View Post
Parking is an issue. There are box stores because the consumers overwhelmingly prefer them.
More specifically, there are box stores because consumers overwhelmingly prefer to be able to pay less for the same goods. Small shops can't compete with bulk prices, end of story.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:03 AM
 
Location: Rolla, Phelps County, Ozarks, Missouri
1,069 posts, read 2,255,392 times
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I've lost track of the number of times I've read posts from people wanting to move out of the city and into the countryside or into a small town, and invariably they ask about the proximity to a larger town so they can do some "serious shopping." They look forward to moving to Mayberry but they want to go shopping in Raleigh.

Having a bustling small-town downtown while shopping at the Galleria up in the city is a mutually exclusive proposition.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:49 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,158,208 times
Reputation: 1506
Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
More specifically, there are box stores because consumers overwhelmingly prefer to be able to pay less for the same goods. Small shops can't compete with bulk prices, end of story.
I agree. In my nearest "big" town Walmart wants to come in, but the town has refused them. It sounds good but the reality is, no one stays in this town without them being there. I was talking to the local car dealer one day he mentioned that his slowest day was on Saturday. Typically for Car Salesman this is the BEST day, but in this town the situation is reversed because everyone has left town and gone to the stores WITH big box stores.

The problem with this town is that it's the teenager of small towns...it want's to be something its not! When it got away from its agricultural roots and tried to be a yuppie, preppie town its failed time and time again and yet it keeps on trying.

I am hoping with the downturn in the economy, people and the people that run towns, get back to their roots.
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Kennesaw, GA
167 posts, read 770,257 times
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Everyone keeps referencing WalMart on here. It is not necessarily WalMart that bruises a local economy, but the other little stores that crop up following the WalMart. I have seen this firsthand. Rarely do you just see a WalMart out in the middle of nowhere. Soon to follow is a chain restaurant, a chain pharmacy and a gas station. People now realize that they can pop into WalMart for the low prices AND grab lunch and gas up afterwards. Sacrifice the quality for the convenience. Welcome to American culture, everybody! I personally LOVE closeknit communities that center around downtown and its history. It evokes a pride of town. I live in a very transient area so it is difficult to plug in and help create opportunities for others to be involved. I also know that many people feel the same way as I do, but lack the assertiveness or know-how to get something going. I am now officially motivated.
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