By Robert Arrowsmith
Lately, in an attempt to clear the mind for the night, I have been playing different games on my iPad.
Getting involved in enough things and having enough debates, believe it or not, can be tiring.
I know I can be strong willed, and I know I can be vocal in my beliefs, especially when it comes to wanting progress in the community. By the end of the day the last week or so, I have needed a break.
And so the two apps I have played recently are, ironically, related to community development.
What has become more ironic during the progression in these apps, are that they have the same order of location development … housing, a convenience store, a fast-food restaurant.
No, I am not that far along.
I have heard a lot of conversation lately from a lot of locations on what needs to happen with economic development. Different opinions, different suggestions on where to begin, what is needed … I have been receiving a whole spectrum of input, but not much agreement on beliefs.
You know I have an opinion. That opinion is simple: New dollars need to come in.
New dollars. Any new development project, housing, businesses coming to town, etc., should be bringing new dollars to the market long term, and not take current dollars from local established business.
Building Taco Bell in Portales may have been nice, but people are not exactly driving from miles around to go to Taco Bell. In reality, it shifted dollars from the other neighboring restaurants in the community, including the McDonald’s and Taco Box.
Find an industry, or niche, that will bring new dollars to the market long term.
I get what Hotel Clovis did in the short run. I get that getting an eyesore fixed meant a lot to the community. But name a new business that came in because of it. The ground floor of the hotel itself sits empty.
So how do I think you bring new dollars in? You have to give people enough reason to want to come here.
The new conversation between various organizations has been that all we have done is taken local dollars and shifted them to different causes. It really has not grown the event, or the cause. So what you have done is created events locally that compete with each other for the dollars in the market.
How? Tourism — more events that are going to attract not just a local crowd, and increased frequency of events would be a start. Events that are center-of-town related. If you give enough people enough reason often enough to come to town, you increase the potential for new business to come.
To me the name of the game is simple. Create reasons to come and come often. Give new dollars a frequency of reasons to come.
So how do we do this? Stay tuned …
Robert Arrowsmith is publisher of Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at: email@example.com